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Born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso |

According to Michael, Toronto is the most beautiful city, a place with unprecedented diversity. His first language is French but he has never considered returning to live in Montreal, the place he where he started his studies. He says the intensity of cultural diversity in Toronto makes him to feel as if he is also an ambassador for cultures other than his own. Michael explains how he has learnt the martial art of Muay Thai here and that this combat sport has changed his life forever. After completing a degree in Business and Economics at York University Michael now works as a Financial Analyst and Muay Thai Instructor.

Toronto as Home

Michael wanted to be photographed in the ring at Toronto Kickboxing and Muay Thai Academy (TKMT) gym which is in downtown Toronto. This place is his “second house and family” and he often is there every day of the week. He first decided to pursue Muay Thai after seeing the movie Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior which inspired him to learn more about this ancient martial art. As soon as he stepped into in the gym he was amazed how people with different backgrounds and body shapes were able to come together and, with hard work, were able to achieve the common goal of physical fitness under Master Ajahn Amnat’s guidance. Training for competitive fights has taught Michael a lot about discipline and dedication. Currently he teaches Muay Thai there twice a week.

Connection with the Past

Michael feels that Burkina Faso has been poorly represented to the rest of world. Whenever he travels people always say: “Where? What? Never heard of it before!” Because of this Michael tries to take the role of unofficial ambassador to Burkina Faso seriously. He is very proud of his country of birth, its culture, people, and it is for this reason he wished to be photographed holding the flag.

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