It wasn’t that Malik Mayweather’s mother didn’t want him and his two sisters. But when it became apparent that she and her long-time, live-in boyfriend were going to end their relationship, Malik’s mother made the hardest decision she would ever have to make.
Malik’s father was a successful entrepreneur, and would make the better custodial parent, the parents decided. Mayweather’s three children returned home to Memphis from the Washington D.C. area.
That’s the story Malik Mayweather will take with him when he delivers his 18-minute Ted Talk in Miami later this Spring.
“I’m a 25-year-old business owner completing my masters in Health Administration from the University of Miami Herbert Business School,” Mayweather said. “I learned about the auditions, and I knew there were only 10 spots available. Hundreds were going to try out, I knew. I just decided to go for it anyway.”
TED began in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged. Today, the confab features accomplished professionals talking about any number of relevant topics — from science to business to global issues. These talks inspire others, motivating listeners to pursue their own personal achievements by sharing life lessons and innovative ideas. TED Talk videos are often viewed by millions around the world – and Malik Mayweather is set to record his segment on April 8.
Coming back home
Robert L. Mayweather had no doubts about where Malik and his sisters should be.
“I knew my family and I could make the best provisions for my daughters and son,” he said. “It was the right decision for our situation. Here in Memphis, we could invest the time and nurture required to produce successful, well-adjusted adults. I had graduated Howard University, and it was time to return home. There was no way I was leaving my children behind.”
And so began the saga of the Mayweather children here in Memphis. Miah, Malik and Maliah had a loving tribe of cousins, great aunts, great uncles, and adoring, doting grandparents who all showered them with love and attention. Their aunt, Robin Mayweather, who became their de facto mom, was called “Momma” and “T-Aunt.” Their grandparents, Billie and Robert Mayweather, were “Meemaw” and “Grotty.”
Almost from the very beginning, it was evident that Malik loved the physicality of playing sports, and that he excelled from above his peers in strength and prowess at a very young age in two of his favorites games—football and baseball. Malik was a promising standout, even then, in little-league baseball and pee-wee football.
“As parents, we are not only required to provide every possible advantage for our children, but we must give them a village in which to grow and thrive as they get older,” said Robert Mayweather. “My girls had all the support and nurture from the women in our family. I wanted to make sure that my son thrived as well with strong, caring role models to guide him.”
Malik’s involvement in sports fueled dreams of playing in the NFL after college. Like thousands of gifted and disciplined hopefuls, that aspiration changed as he grew older and evolved. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami in Health Sector Management and Policy, his ambitions changed as other talents and gifts became apparent.
“There should be no plan A, B, or C,” he said. “The real question is, ‘Who am I?’ Playing football was just a part of who I am. It was one of the things I did, but it was not all of who I am.
“I am a guy who likes to help people. That’s who I am,” Malik Mayweather said. “If what we do does not support who we are, we won’t be happy.”
Part of what makes Malik happy is health and fitness.
“Right now, my business partner and I have an expanding fitness company with a devoted following that has become successful, largely by word of mouth,” he said. “We help people reach their health and wellness goals.”
After earning his masters degree this Spring, he wants to get into hospital administration – preferably dealing with clients.
“Client relations is the direction my talents are directing me,” he said. “It’s all a matter of deciding who I am and who the Lord wants me to be.”
The Mayweather clan and extended family members plan to be front and center in Miami when Malik takes the stage. “Oh, you can be sure, we will be right there,” Robert Mayweather said.
“Most of the news about young, African-American men is not good. I’ve seen celebrity speakers and other professionals sharing the conventional wisdom they have learned,” he said. “Malik is much younger than those speakers are, and black men on the TED stage are a precious few.
“This is important. This is a great milestone, and we will be there to celebrate and cheer him on,” he added. “The man my son has become is an answer to prayer. And we are all very grateful.”