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This week, South African horse jockey S’manga Khumalo became the first black jockey to win the Durban July, which is South Africa’s richest horse race. Khumalo, a.k.a. “Bling” crossed the finish line with his horse, Heavy Metal, as 50,000 spectators watched. Khumalo was nicknamed “Bling” because of the large diamond earring he wears and his occasional patch of blonde hair.

28 year-old Khumalo was born in KwaMashu township, 20 miles north of Durban. Upon completing his big finish, the history-making jockey dedicated his win to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who is still in critical condition with a lung infection.  He also paid homage to his trainer, Sean Terry, who he says had trained him since he was a child.

Little Known Black History Fact: S’manga Khumalo  was originally published on