Although it is known that individuals of African descent have a demonstrated ability to excel in a wide array of fields, there are certain niches of work that remain largely unexplored. It is rare to find individuals of African descent in mixed martial arts. Fortunately, Nigerian-English Jimi Manuwa has diversified the African portfolio. The 34 year old Jimi ‘Poster Boy’ Manuwa is an Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) who was born in the United States but lived in Lagos where he attended Corona School in Apapa. At the age of 10, Jimi moved to England with his family.
In early 2014, Manuwa returned to Lagos with plans to introduce his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gym to Nigeria. He currently has an active version of the gym in the United Kingdom. He intends to mentor those interested in boxing, providing the skills that it would take to be successful at MMA. Manuwa speaks from valuable experience. MMA impacted his life positively by allowing him to channel his high energy levels towards practical goals, skills Manuwa credits for helping him turn his life around for the better. With the new MMA academy, Manuwa hopes to instil a sense of discipline into the youth, and he hopes that he will be able to give the young people of the continent the opportunities that he was lacking at their age. With that being said, it is easy to see how such a channel of energy would be a perfect match for the youth of Lagos and Nigeria. Ultimately, we hope that Manuwa, with the help of his newly found academy will help discover, develop, and promote new young African talent that will become future UFC champions and make the continent proud.
Image: MMA Haiku