Francis Ngannou has shown himself to be as soft-hearted a person outside the octagon as he is a hard-hitter inside it.
The UFC heavyweight admittedly loves spending time with children, especially with the students of his Francis Ngannou Foundation. The moments he shares with kids at his gym back in Cameroon are heartwarmingly adorable, even though Ngannou can appear to be a little heavy handed with them.
In the video below, Ngannou can be seen playfully throwing kids around on the mat, as if he is facing a devastating opponent inside the UFC octagon.
What is the vision of the Francis Ngannou Foundation?
'The Predator' founded the Francis Ngannou Foundation in 2019 with a mission to provide the children of Cameroon the opportunity to work on their skills and achieve their dreams.
Growing up in the small village of Batie in Cameroon, Francis Ngannou's rise to the top of UFC is one of drive and inspiration. However, being aware of the struggle he had to go through to get where he is today, Francis Ngannou established the foundation with the goal of making that journey a little less challenging for the children of Cameroon [Via: UFC]:
"The goal is to have them believe in themselves and to chase their dream. It doesn’t matter what it is. I’m seeing myself when I was there [in Cameroon], how powerful my dream was and I’m like, ‘Okay, if there are only like three or four kids in all this village who have the same dream and it’s as powerful as mine was, it’s worth it,'" said Francis Ngannou.
Francis Ngannou's gym is the first fully-equipped gym in Cameroon. However, the vision is not just to push the children towards sports, but to help them in any and every way possible.
"We want to change this kind of mindset basically for kids. Just let them know that it’s possible. We are trying to do that through the sport, to empower them through the sport. But that doesn’t mean it’s just sport things. We are going to try to follow kids and help them in different ways. It doesn’t matter what you want to do. It’s kind of a thing where I grew up expecting somebody to come back and do that for us,” Ngannou said. “I want these kids to know that people care about them and that they count. That’s the main goal."
Francis Ngannou is not only the founder and the sponsor of the gym, but he personally likes to spend time there and train the children himself.