On 29 April 2017, Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua defeated Wladimir Klitschko by a technical knockout in front of an audience of 90,000 to become the IBF, WBA and IBO World Heavyweight Champion. As a result of his victory, Joshua, a hugely talented athlete, has now become one of the most popular figures in Britain.
Image by Karl-Ludwig Poggemann
As patriots adopt Joshua, they conveniently airbrush his Nigerian heritage from the narrative. Joshua was born in Watford to Nigerian parents who moved to the UK when they were in their twenties. Joshua regards himself as “Nigerian by blood” and has a tattoo of the map of Nigeria on his arm. When he was much younger, he was known by his first name Femi. Perhaps like many people of colour whose names people find “too difficult to pronounce”, he might have opted to be called Anthony Joshua…
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