1st April, 2012
Evander Holyfield, five-time World Boxing Champion has visited the Nigerian coastal town of Badagry in Lagos State, to reconnect with his African roots and seek the possibility of investing in the country’s tourism industry.
The Alabama born retired pugilist believes he is of African descent.
He visited the historic town of Badagry on the invitation of Mr Yomi Ajose, a former Senior Special Adviser to the Badagry Local Government Council.
Holyfield, who visited the traditional ruler of the town, Wheno Aholu Meno Toyi I, the Akran of Badagry, said that he was visiting to trace his African roots.
“I am happy to see His Royal Majesty, the Akran of Badagry and to also reconnect and re-unite with my ancestral land,” he said.
Holyfield is one of the offspring of the Blacks in the Diaspora who were taken into slavery during the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade in the 18th century.
Welcoming him, the Akran said that he was happy to host to the former world boxing champion.
“I am happy to have you in Badagry and I want to tell you that you have a lot of opportunity to invest in Badagry so as to promote tourism,” he said.
Holyfield then went on a Boat Cruise along Badagry water ways to see areas of possible investment.
He was in the company of Alfred Dickson, an associate of Marlon Jackson, who has been trying to invest in Gberefun town where the “Point of No Return’’ is located.
The Point of No Return is the gate from where slaves were shipped abroad during the days of slavery.
Other personalities who were at the Akran’s palace to receive were Ijinla Afolabi, the President and Founder of Center for Heritage Preservation and Olaide Osoba, the Proprietor of 02 Bar, Marina.
Holyfield was born on 19 October 1962, won bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics before going professional. In 1990, he became Heavyweight Champion of the World when he defeated James “Buster” Douglas.