How many years have I been watching the U.S. Open? Since I was a little kid,” Tiafoe said after the match. “I always dreamed of being on center court, playing the best in the world. Finally happened, so I was ready for it.”

You don’t know much about Tiafoe? Here’s a primer.

Frances Tiafoe, Tennis, African American Athlete, African American Sports, Sierra Leone, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Family: Tiafoe’s parents, Frances Sr. and Alphina, are from Sierra Leone, and his father worked in the country’s diamond mines as a teenager. They fled to Maryland to escape civil war there. Frances has a fraternal twin brother, Franklin, who played tennis last year for Salisbury University in Maryland.

Tennis beginnings: Frances Sr. was the maintenance worker for the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., near Washington. His sons often resided in his office there, and grew up around the sport. Frances Jr. quickly showed potential.

Frances Tiafoe, Tennis, African American Athlete, African American Sports, Sierra Leone, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Frances Tiafoe, Tennis, African American Athlete, African American Sports, Sierra Leone, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNJahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post | Photo Credit

Frances Tiafoe, Tennis, African American Athlete, African American Sports, Sierra Leone, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN


SIERRA LEONE | OFFICIALLY REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE

Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north-east, Liberia to the south-east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south-west. Sierra Leone has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests. The country has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and a population of 7,075,641 (based on 2015 national census). It is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature.

Sierra Leone is made up of five administrative regions: the Northern Province, Northwestern Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area, which are subdivided into sixteen districts. Each district has its own directly elected local government. Freetown (population 1,050,301), located in the Western Area, is Sierra Leone’s capital, largest city and its economic centre. Kenema (population 200,354) is Sierra Leone second largest city, and is about 200 miles from Freetown, in the Eastern province of the country, Other major cities in Sierra Leone are Bo, Koidu Town and Makeni.

Sierra Leone became independent from the United Kingdom on 27 April 1961 led by Sir Milton Margai. The current constitution of Sierra Leone was adopted in 1991, though it has been amended several times. Since independence to present, Sierra Leonean politics has been dominated by two major political parties; the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the All People’s Congress (APC). (Wikipedia).


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KOLUMN Magazine celebrates the lives of People of Color by giving our world texture.