‘Kids Are Cruel’ – Kamaru Usman Shares His Experience of Being a Nigerian Kid in an American School

Published 06/21/2021, 11:46 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 16: UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman interacts with the media during the UFC 246 Ultimate Media Day at UFC APEX on January 16, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Kamaru Usman is now well versed in the American culture and has been living in America for quite some time. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ has plenty of fans in America and is a very popular figure amongst combat sports enthusiasts. However, this wasn’t always the case, as the UFC champion shares his experience of being a Nigerian kid in an American school.

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Usman talked about how the kids made fun of him when he first joined a school in America. Usman said, “Kids are cruel, kids are very cruel. And it was tough because yes of course there’s a language barrier. Because even in Nigeria we speak English English, like when you want to put something in the trunk, you put it in the boot of the car.” 

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 “Like we say trash can here, but it’s a dustbin and certain things. So that’s the English that we speak. And then you come to America and things are different. And kids are cruel, so kids laugh at you for speaking differently. Laugh at you for not understanding a term or the way they are saying certain things.”

Kamaru Usman talks about trying to fit in at school

As a young kid from Nigeria, Usman shared his experience of trying to fit in at school. The UFC champion talks about how he used to do many things to try to fit in and then get into trouble.

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“Though I got into trouble sometimes, because you want to fit in with the kids. So when these kids tell you to say this to the teacher, call them this word. It means that you like them and you do it and now you end up in the principal’s office. So it was challenging as a kid, there were many times you cried about certain things coz you didn’t understand them. But being able to experience those things makes you strong.” 

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Kids can often be mean to someone who they feel differs from them and Usman has experienced that firsthand. However, the fighter also says that it was these experiences that strengthened him and helped him in growing as an individual and become the champion he is today.

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Paras Pande

386 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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