Real Hero – MMA Fighter Brings Fresh Water & Freedom to African Slaves
In the age of self-promotion and hype-over-substance, it’s refreshing when someone with authenticity comes along and does something that sets an entirely new example for the rest of the herd.
Justin Wren is a 28 year-old mixed martial arts fighter who took five plus years from cage fighting to do something extraordinary, and became a real hero to the Pygmy people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo along the way.
Slavery is still very real in many parts of the world, even though we tend to think it has been largely abolished. In many areas it exists not as a government or institutional enterprise, but at the local level between different classes of people in a single society or community. In the Congo, it is sadly very common for members of the Pygmy population to live in servitude to other groups and be forced into grueling labor for less than subsistence level wages.
Justin went to the Congo and was shocked to discover that Pygmy Africans are considered animals and the personal property of other Africans and after falling in love with thse kind, gentle and loving people, he set about to free as many as he could. Being careful not to enrage any parties and risk confrontation, he took a different approach than fighting, instead negotiating the freedom of these people.
In order to strike a deal with the slave masters, he promised to provide the equipment and installation of dozens of fresh water wells, thus offering the most important and nearly priceless commodity there is: drinking water. Water is a huge source of disease and conflict in this region, so the slave owners were even willing to release slaves in exchange for new clean water wells.
Take a look at the documentation of his efforts as presented on Vimeo:
He’s now back in the states working on bringing publicity to his ongoing efforts to help the Pygmy people of the Congo with his charity organization, Fight For Freedom. He got back in the ring after five years and won against his opponent Josh Burns, and has raised more than his fundraising goal for a kickstarter drive.
Justin was also a recent guest on the Joe Rogan Experience, where he goes into detail about his journeys in Africa and how his life has come full circle after abusing drugs, fighting depression, and then finding redemption by helping others.
The world needs a new kind of hero, a new role model, if you will. Major league sports is utterly scandalous, and the image of the hero soldier has been tarnished by endless pointless war.
Why should slavery exist any longer in today’s world? What would this world look like if we re-thought what it means to be a hero?
Justin Wren definitely has the warrior spirit and knows how to put it to proper use in a world that needs new kinds of heroes. What do you think?
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