Twenty years ago, when working on a sand excavation in his Batié matal, in western Cameroon, Francis Ngannou did not know that one day he would appear in a popular series of American films.
This Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter has been included in the “Fast and Furious 9” cast and is ready to become the second African to appear in the franchise, after the Beninese-American Djimon Gaston Hounsou
“I have waited a long time after the auditions for the role and I was a little tense and nervous to receive the news,” Ngannou said in a telephone interview. “Then, (Universal Studios) confirmed to my (UFC) team that they had given me the role, because if you see my post (on Twitter) it was from Universal Studios,” Ngannou said.
The future is in the made !!!
Fast and furious nine will be my first movie appearance and I can't wait for this?. pic.twitter.com/VkTzQWCfsa
– Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) August 15, 2019
Francis Ngannou, UFC champion, joins the next installment of “Fast and Furious“.
The future is coming !!!
Fast and furious 9 will be my first appearance in a movie. I can not wait.
The unprecedented success of Ngannou in mixed martial arts contributed to his participation in the film, whose premiere is expected in May 2020. He has won 14 of his 17 fights at the MMA.
32 years old Cameroonian Heavyweight Athlete; Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) set to make his acting debut as cast on the American Movie Franchise ‘Fast & Furious 9 ′
– Beta Tinz?? (@beta_tinz) August 16, 2019
Francis Ngannou, a 32-year-old heavyweight Cameroonian athlete, ready to make his acting debut in the American film franchise ‘Fast and Furious 9 ′.
Ngannou, who comes from having experienced difficulties, poverty and struggle in Cameroon, revealed: “When you expect something and you are excited and, in the end, they say‘ yes, you have the role, ”he explained,“ you get a little confused. you are happy but you don't know what to do… you are happy but you don't know how to express it, ”says Ngannou, who left Cameroon six years ago for Europe for a better life.
How Ngannou shaped his future?
Ngannou comes from a family of street fighters, and began working on a sand excavation at age 12. Unfortunately he never received a good education.
Fourteen years later, the man nicknamed “Predator” decided to embark on a dangerous trip to Europe.
I left Cameroon at 26 … I spent a year in Morocco before moving to Spain – it was hell ”, – Francis Ngannou, heavyweight wrestling champion
“I left Cameroon at 26, and it took me more than a year to get to France because I went by land, from Cameroon to Nigeria, to Niger where I crossed to Algeria and Morocco through the Mediterranean Sea to Spain. I spent a year in Morocco before moving to Spain – it was hell, ”said Ngannou.
Cameroon has faced a series of protracted conflicts that derive more recently from the presence of Boko Haram, an ISIS affiliated movement, since 2013, and the current Anglophone crisis since 2016, when Anglophone Cameroonians protested against the French-speaking government for discriminatory policies , marginalizing and repressive.
According to the United Nations, the Mediterranean Sea is “one of the deadliest sea crossings in the world,” in which “an estimated 2275 people have drowned or disappeared” in 2018, according to a United Nations report.
However, Ngannou said it was worth it. “It was a difficult part of my life and something that is not good to think about. But it was the sacrifice I needed to get here, ”he added.
Ngannou was homeless in Paris when he just arrived. One day, “he entered the MMA Factory in Paris” and the owner gave him the opportunity to sleep in the gym while training an MMA fighter. He then made his professional debut in 2013 and his wrestling career began there.
Give back to the next generation of fighters
After hoping to return to his village one day to fulfill children's dreams, the UFC athlete founded his first mixed martial arts gym in Batie in January 2019.
– Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) July 8, 2019
Back to where I am.
The initiative, called the Francis Ngannou Foundation, works with children to have professional training in gyms and can accommodate up to one hundred boys.
Midnight Mania! Watch @Francis_Ngannou teach children martial arts in Cameroon https://t.co/L5XXiwNrXv
– MMA mania (@mmamania) August 31, 2019
Midnight madness! Come see Francis Ngannou teach martial arts to children in Cameroon.
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Midnight Madness Come see Francis Ngannou teach children martial arts to children in Cameroon.
“I give children the ability to believe in them, as it was with me,” said the 32-year-old fighter. “I still believe that the faith I have gave me the power to overcome myself despite the misery. It is what I want to give to the children. ”