Fizouné Richard: Using martial arts to empower youth in Chad
By Lilian Kaivilu
He is seemingly calm and collected. A man of very few words. He would easily pass for an introvert. But when he starts his martial arts sessions, Fizouné Richard, popularly known as Mako fiz, depicts a different picture; that of a person passionate about his work. He calls it his passion. “Art, sport, culture and I are inseparable,” he laughs.
To Richard, human beings must be a solution to one or more problems. The martial arts professor is convinced that he holds the solution to young people and street children in his country.
Armed with a good mastery of Mandarin, French, English and at least three local dialects, Richard uses comedy, music and martial arts to engage young people in his country.
Born and Raised in Chad, Richard has always been passionate about martial arts, especially Chinese. His brother introduced him to martial arts movies. The rest, he says, is history. As he grew up, so did his love for martial arts. “I was fascinated by famous actors like Jet Li, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. I also taught myself through films, internet research and books,” says Richard.
On an ordinary day, Richard would be teaching martial arts at the Centre of young don Bosco of N’djamena in Chad. His trainees are mainly young people and expatriates.
Richard has served as the activities manager of Chad Mixed English and French sports clubs (Summer Mix English Clubs Chad, SMEC) .He was elected agent for positive change in Chad in 2017 through his initiatives to improve the living conditions and education of young and poor children in the country. His talent has landed him an advanced training course at Shaolin Temple in China, the highest place of Chinese martial arts.
Richard launched his comedy album in June 2019; first time in Chad, a 100 percent musical comedy album. Mako Fiz is also a movie actor, storyteller, and one-man show.
He is among the 700 young African leaders selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship. He was placed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is determined to empower more young people in his country by offering them training in martial arts. “I plan to organize motivation and entrepreneurship sessions upon my return to the country to share my experiences and motivate others through my story.” A man of many accolades, Richard is also one of the main actors of the documentary film of CGTN on the Africans at the Shaolin temple.
For at least three times a day, Richard offers free martial arts training to needy children and youth in his country. In 2015, after several requests from young people, he opened his martial arts school called called “Kung Fu am Club”.
Disturbed by the increase in the number of street children in the capital city, Richard and his colleagues decided to engage them by organizing dance sessions while offering them food. “We invite people who donate food, clothes and other essentials.” Since December 2018, the initiative has reached 1,600 people in the streets, reintegrated 185 street children with their families and supported 50 children at the Dakouna Hope reception centre. The project is founded by Aleva Ndavogo Jude from star Association.