Anthony Joshua (middle)
Residents of Makoko community in Lagos State on Saturday trooped out in their hundreds to receive former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who visited the area.
Joshua, who held three titles IBF, WBA and WBO between 2016 and 2019, earlier visited the National Stadium in Surulere, on Saturday morning.
During his visit to Makoko, he met with children and fans, taking selfies with them.
Joshua, who has a Nigerian father and was born in England, thrilled the children with a demo of a boxing fight.
Adult females in the slum area also cheered, his mother, Yetunde Joshua, who was with the heavyweight boxer during the visit, while the children made a special presentation, which got him laughing.
According to them, the coming of Joshua to the area has inspired them to be ambitious.
The children urged prominent personalities in the society not to look down on them but rather help them.
Speaking on behalf of the children, Alade Mariam, said, “With me here are beneficiaries of Slum2School (project), who are very grateful and excited to have you here. We wanted to host you in our STEM and Innovation Laboratory, but we chose to have it here so that you can see the treasures in this community like us, who are talented, educated and ambitious like you. All we need are people who believe in us like you.
“We like every child in the community to get the same opportunity that you had many years back, so that they can be transformed, they can transform this society and Nigeria at large.”
The also engaged the British professional boxer with questions on why he wasn’t boxing for Nigeria and the age he started boxing.
Responding to the questions, Joshua said, “My father and mother left Nigeria when they were 25 years old to the United Kingdom and I was born there, so I started fighting at the age of 18 years old.”
Other notable personalities present include Timi Dakolo, Tonye Cole and others.
The founder of the centre, Otto Orondaam, took those present on a tour of the Makoko community to meet the residents.