Ngo Okafor, the most downloaded black male model, actor, championship boxer and business man came on The Healthtopia Radio Show with Bonnie Mechelle in Atlanta,Georgia to talk about getting fit and staying fit for a lifetime.
He is well known for his fabulous physique and shared with listeners how to attain the same fitness results that he is profiting from. Ngo was born in Massachusetts; after his dad got his PhD from Harvard he moved Ngo and his older brother to Nigeria to get accustomed to Nigerian culture and learn their native language. He attributes his determination and dedication to growing up in Nigeria and seeing how hard life can be in a different part of the world compared to life in the United States of America.
Ngo said that when he made trips back to Nigeria from the US the people (despite living in extreme poverty) were always happy and worked very hard, this gives him drive in everything that he does. In 1993 he moved back to the States to go to college at the Universityof Connecticut to study computer science. He got a job at the department of transportation and got an opportunity to move to New York with a computer company that digitizes maps (before GPS systems). His parents always stressed the importance of getting a REAL job, a corporate job with good health insurance…
However, he was always an artist at heart and saw living in New York as an opportunity to do what he really wanted to do, which was to model. He said he met a photographer at his gym to take some pictures to present to a few modeling agencies. He eventually signed with an agency and started booking jobs and auditions right away.
Ngo said that it was tough to get his parent to accept what he was doing because they never knew a model before. They asked Ngo questions like: How long are you going to do this, you’re not going to be young forever? Ngo’s answer: Being healthy and fit is a lifelong thing. As you get older it’s important to stay on top of your fitness. “This is going to guide me in the entertainment business; I’m going to make my own movies.”
He transitioned his modeling career into a boxing career “by accident.” He said, “I never saw myself boxing, I always though it was dangerous.” He was looking for something different to do for cardio fitness and a trainer came to him and made him consider boxing seriously. So he went into a boxing gym and started to train everyday.
He trained for only a year and a half and won 2 Golden Gloves, which is unprecedented! He said his boxing skills were a blessing and a gift that he had to do something with. It was amazing. He started at age 31 when most boxers start training in their teenage years. He is a prime example of how you can leave a corporate job to peruse your dream in entertainment and how you can also start an athletic career in your 30’s.
Ngo has put together a magnificent calendar featuring photos of him showing off his physically fit body. The proceeds from the calendar will help buy sports equipment for underprivileged children in Nigeria, and it can be purchased at www.getingo.com
Here are some of the main fitness tips that Ngo shared with us on The Healthtopia Radio Show with Bonnie Mechelle:
#1 Remember that fitness is a lifelong thing; don’t let it go just because you’re getting older. Consistency is key.
#2 Burn fat and build muscle by increasing your protein intake, cut back on sugars and foods with a high carb content. Cook most of your own food.
#3 Don’t do too much too soon, don’t pack it all into one week. Do exercise that you can maintain for a lifetime.
#4 Mix up your exercise routine so you will not get bored. Try new sports like boxing or outdoor activities like biking.
Ngo was in V Magazine with Brazilian supermodel Gisele Caroline Bündchen. He said that during the photo shoot, Gisel was “not the divaish type, she just chillin like everyone else.” He said it was a full day photo shoot and Gisel had a lot of underwear to try on, designs to choose from and makeup changes. “It takes a long time to get the perfect shot with all the wardrobe changes, getting the right lighting and camera angels. But it is a lot of fun.”
Ngo also starred in The Rebound with Catherine Zeta Jones which is a romantic comedy. In the movie Ngo played himself as a boxer, in the scene Catherine Zeta Jones’ character takes her boyfriend to a professional boxing match. During the filming of this scene, the crowd began to roar as Ngo was actually fighting his opponent Al Cole, and they started throwing REAL BLOWS at each other totally off the choreographed plan in the heat of the moment! He did not realize it until the audience started reacting to the punches, but he says that’s what happens to boxers when the get in the zone. Ngo is currently working on a feature length documentary film that chronicles his journey from Nigeria to the top of the boxing world. It’s titled, “Triumph of The will” and it highlights his will to succeed and pursue his dreams and encourages others to do the same. Learn more about Ngo at www.getingo.com