German | Liberian
I identify as mixed-race, agnostic & heterosexual. My Mum is from Liberia and my Dad from Germany. They met in Liberia in the mid-80s. My Dad worked in Liberia on a County Rural Development Project in Nimba county (Saclepea). He rented a room at my Grandmother's house, where he met my mum and fell in love with her. I was born in Liberia but due to the brutal Civil war from 1989-2013 we flew to Germany where I grew up.
I must have been around 6-7 years old when I realised I was mixed-race. I liked a girl in school and she rejected me because I was Black. This hurt me a lot and I based on this I wanted to be White as a child. After I recognised I look different than most people it became very difficult. I got bullied in school as the Black child. My parents divorced after a few years living in Germany. On at the White side of my family, I was always the Black boy. On the Black side of the family I was always the White boy. I never knew where I belonged. I always hoped to find the island for mixed-race people, we don’t have a country for mixed race people. The expectation and reality of living in a predominantly White country was difficult for my mother. In the end she left my father for an African man. She was frustrated that she could not see her family because of the war that lasted 25 years.
After moving to London when I turned 20 I realised that people did not really care what you look like or where you from. In Germany they called me ‘coloured’ and ‘half-cast’ but in the UK I was mixed-race. I love the multiculturality in London.
I’m a professional athlete and have to decide what country I represent. I can’t and don’t want to choose, I love my both parents. So, I represent both. However, when I lose I become the ‘stupid African’ or the ‘well-behaved German’. Deep inside I feel more African. I guess because I’m not White. I return more and more often to Africa to compete and help inspire the youth. I also recently fought in Ghana, which was an amazing experience. Before the fight people were staring at me and didn’t know who I was but after I won my fight everyone wanted to be around me.
The positive side about being mixed is that I can understand and relate to both sides. I have an equal amount of White and Black friends, I also have mixed friends. I believe we are all the same. The environment in which we grow up is changing us.
It was hard for me to be identified with other people. I was always Black for White people and White for Black people. I got into many fights in school because I got bullied for my skin colour. Now I have mixed friends. White and Black. My fiancé is from Thailand but has the same skin complexion as me. Our baby boy also has the same colour as us. I don’t believe that my mixed-race heritage has an effect on my work/personal life any more. As a youngster I believe this was the case but not so much as an adult.
I speak German as I grew up there and am able to use the Liberian accent. I don't speak the tribe language of my county. I always felt more connected to my African side. I worked with organisations together in Liberia to help the youth. I represent Liberia when I fight as a professional boxer and I'm also the Ambassador of the Liberian Boxing Association. I visit and work in Africa more as I feel I have to give back and inspire the people, they have less hope and opportunities then us here in Europe. I feel blessed being in Europe after surviving the war and I want to give back, I feel I would still be there today if our father wouldn't be able to take us to Germany. My older brother on the other hand is more German than me and has never returned to Africa. He has only White friends and doesn’t speak fluent English.
When asked where I’m from I always respond that I am from Germany and Liberia, so Afro-European.
A positive experience of being mixed-race is that I can relate and understand both sides good, Black and White.
I don't have any problems as a mixed-race adult. Growing up in Germany I had more issues. I always wanted to live in London after visiting for the first time as a 15-year old, I had never seen so many different cultures, religions, races in one city before. I love it, no one looks at you funny.
I’m happy with how I look, and I love myself, so I’m happy to be born the same again. In the end of the day we are all the same. All humans. The difference of size, height, colour, languages, religions is what makes us unique and beautiful. It is our duty to remain human and love one another. We are all mixed and all different.
I’m fighting top of the bill on February 22nd 2019 for the WBO European Title in London, Bethnal Green, York Hall. More information via social media @ freddy_kiwitt