Mohamed Kayongo: The former Ugandan boxing champion looks to the next generation

Now Kayongo trains young people in both Minneapolis, Minnesota in the US and in his hometown of Kampala, Uganda to mentor the next generation to discover their own independence through boxing.

Kayongo began his role as a coach at Minneapolis’ Northside Boxing Club after retiring from a successful boxing career. Nicknamed the “African Assassin,” he boxed for the Ugandan national team and won a silver medal at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.

In 2003 he started a career as a professional boxer in Minnesota and eventually received US citizenship. “As soon as I got freedom I had to retire, so I did [could] pass it on to the next generation,” he said.

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In Northside, Kayongo runs summer programs that teach boxing, financial literacy and black history to underserved local youth. He also founded Northside’s sister organization, Godfather Boxing Academy, on the other side of the world in Kampala, which provides food, shelter and tuition to needy children.

“It was my promise to go back [to] Build a shelter gym,” explained Kayongo. “It takes everyone to get in [and] care for these children because they are the next generation of the community.”

Watch the video at the top of this page to learn more about how Kayongo’s past as a child soldier influenced his desire to make a difference in the lives of young people.