Three experts in martial arts will this week grace the studios of African Voices, a magazine programme of the Cable News Network (CNN), sponsored by digital transformation network, Globacom.
These include Kamarudeen Usman, a boxer from Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria; Amanda Lino, fondly addressed as Mad Dog, a female fly-weight and bantam-weight champion from Durban, South Africa and Balla Dieye, a taekwondo athlete from Dakar, Senegal.
Born in 1987, Usman is making a global name for himself in his passion. Of Nigerian-American mixed parentage, he competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the current Welterweight Champion.
He is also the Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament winner who, as at March this year was Number 7 in the UFC pound-for-pound official rankings.
South African “Mad Dog” Lino was born in 1990 at Ballito, Kwa-Zulu Natal. She got into martial arts specifically to lose weight but got hooked after a few classes.
Lino is the Amateur Women’s Featherweight World Champion and was the first female in Extreme Fighting Championship to feature on the main card, the second ranked out of 32 active South African female boxers and the current Best Female Bantam-weight in her country.
She has been strutting the canvas, competing in Mixed Martial Arts since 2012 and won the 2014 Featherweight World Champs in Las Vegas.
Dieye, 38, competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the men’s 68kg. He won the French-speaking Championships, the African Championships and two bronze medals at the World championships.
A committed champion for peace, Dieye works with the Senegalese and French sports governing bodies to develop sports in the West African sub-region and has been at the forefront, training the next generation of Olympic hopefuls on the continent.
Viewers are encouraged to hook on to CNN for the broadcasts of African Voices programme through Channel 401 on DStv on Friday at 9.30am and 11.30pm; on Saturday at 11.30am and 3.30pm; Sunday at 4am, 8.30am, and 7pm; and Monday, on 4.30am.