Former professional boxer Mohamed Kayongo first got into boxing while spending time in the Ugandan government’s army barracks, after the army had rescued him from the rebel groups that abducted him and trained him as a child soldier. Now, by mentoring young people in both Minneapolis, Minnesota in the US, and in his hometown of Kampala, Uganda, Kayongo is training the next generation to discover their own independence through boxing. Kayongo took up his role as a coach at Minneapolis’ Northside Boxing Club after retiring from a successful career in boxing. Nicknamed the “African Assassin,” he boxed for the Ugandan National Team and won a silver medal at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. At Northside, Kayongo runs summer programs that teach boxing, financial literacy, and Black history to local underserved youth. He also founded Northside’s sister organization, Godfather Boxing Academy, halfway across the world in Kampala, which provides food, shelter, and school fees to children in need.
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