Anthony Joshua delivered a moving speech about his Nigerian roots on Monday in front of the Royal Family at Westminster Abbey to celebrate Commonwealth Day.
The 30-year-old boxing world champion told the Queen and his audience how proud he was to be associated with both countries, saying the Commonwealth should promote unity.
Addressing the crowd at Westminster Abbey, Joshua said: “My name is Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua and like many of you here, I’m a child of the Commonwealth.
“I was born in Watford and my heritage is Nigerian. I come from the Yoruba people who are the largest and some might say the loudest ethnic group in all of Africa.
“I am proudly Nigerian and I am proudly British. I join a long line, perhaps too long to count, of UK citizens of Commonwealth origin who’ve made enormous contributions to this great, multicultural society of ours.
“In my world, that would include names such as Joshua Buatsi, Lawrence Okolie and Ramla Ali.
“Like me, so many children of the Commonwealth have two homes, two identities, two cultures and two ways of viewing the world. Some even have more than two.
“These days we hear so much about division and difference that some might be tempted to see that as a bad thing.
“But on the contrary, it’s a beautiful thing, a thing to be celebrated and cherished – and a great source of peace and stability.”
Joshua, who recently visited his hometown in Sagamu, Ogun State, called for the removal of all sense of division across the Commonwealth.
“I ask myself, ‘what does the Commonwealth really mean?’ he said.
“The second part of that word is key for me – a united, common future could create opportunities for our Commonwealth cousins.
“So, here’s to fish and chips and egusi soup and pounded yam, to the UK and Nigeria and to the children of the Commonwealth.”
Joshua was later seen speaking with the Queen following his heartfelt speech.