How Anthony Joshua sent money to celebrate renaming of road after him

A Great uncle to boxing Champion Anthony Joshua has revealed how the boxer sent some money to celebrate the renaming of a major road in the Sagamu council area of Ogun State after him.

How Anthony Joshua sent money to celebrate renaming of road after him

Joshua, a Briton, born to a Nigerian mother, Yeta, and an Irish man of Nigerian descent, Robert Joshua, has undoubtedly become a global superstar.

Remarkably, he’s an overseas-based successful pugilist that has identified hugely with Nigeria and never hidden his love for her in his activities. AJ as fondly called is a holder of many titles such as WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO, The punch reports.

Joshua’s Nigerian root is traceable to Sagamu, Ogun State, though born on October 15, 1989, in Watford, Hertfordshire. Sagamu is one of the 20 Local Government Areas of Ogun State.

It was said that he attended Ikenne, Ogun State-based Mayflower School founded by the late Dr. Tai Solarin, a Nigerian educator and civil rights activist.

He was said to have broken the 100 metres record at his school, Kings Langley Secondary School, Watford, when he returned at a time of 11.6 seconds.

His feats on the international scene as a celebrated boxer led to the renaming of the street after him in Sagamu. He was home last year to identify with his kinsmen. Coincidentally, his great-grandfather made some impacts within the road named after Joshua by siting some public buildings which included a cinema there. These efforts, according to historians, led to the naming of the place Cinema road which is now Anthony Joshua Way.

The former Cinema road is a popular road in Sagamu linking Oba Akarigbo road and the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu. It is on the outskirts of Sagamu area close to Ayegbami and Akarigbo area. It stretches towards the commercial area housing commercial banks.

Incidentally, many years after plans to rename the road due to the extinction of the cinema said to have been taken over by churches, Joshua’s popularity soared. Thus, with his remarkable feats and association with his kinsmen in Sagamu, it became necessary to rename the popular road after him.

Going down memory lane, Joshua’s relative, Ademola Joshua, residing on Akarigbo road in Offin, Sagamu, said the family had initially made attempts to rename the road.

Ademola, who is a brother to Joshua’s grandfather, both sons of Omooba Adebambo Joshua, the boxer’s great-grandfather, stated that the family established a primary school in the state and has lots of investments on that road.

He said “The boxer’s grandfather was my brother. The boxer is a great grandson. We have been trying to rename that road. There are many things on that road that my father did. The cinema was brought to Sagamu by my father in the 40s. The Joshua school, a private school in Ogun State, was established by my father in the 40s.

“The Anglican Church belongs to my father also. He brought many things to that road and we were trying to change the name to my father’s name. But the entire family said we should not force it because people said we needed to pay or lobby people so we left it like that since 1964 when he died. We noted it in the meeting. But God has done it for us without lobbying anybody.

‘‘Joshua School is already there, Joshua church and cinema are there. Three quarter of the houses on that road belong to my father yet nothing was named after him. We are extremely happy that all the people within the neighbourhood know that the road has been named after Joshua.”

Ademola said the family was told that the local government would rename the road after Anthony Joshua. He added that the boxer sent money which the family used to celebrate the renaming of the road.

He said “We got a letter from the local government chairman about the renaming of the road to Anthony Joshua Way.

“That day the local government chairman and others came to rejoice with us. We cooked food, bought drinks and had a good time till late hours. I must say that the boxer himself sent money for those things to be organised.

“We don’t have a direct link to the boxer. The man who gave us the money is the last born among the siblings of Anthony Joshua’s father. He is Wale Joshua. He is the one who brought the money to us to celebrate the renaming of the road after the boxer. The boxer got the message through Wale who was around during the road renaming. He was said to have sent money for the celebration’’

The septuagenarian said the road would soon host visitors from England, United Kingdom, adding that competent contractors had been contacted to rehabilitate some failed portions of the road.

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