US-based Cameroonian bags Guinness World Record fastest Toghu marathoner recognition.

Afowiri competing in 2024 Tokyo Marathon

United States of America, US-based Cameroonian, Afowiri Kizito Fondzenyuy, has earned Guinness World Record award as the fastest marathon runner. 

Afowiri Fondzenyuy, who has been competing in marathons around the world, wearing Toghu, a traditional attire of the people of the grassfield regions of Cameroon, was announced by Guinness World Record, after he competed at the Tokyo Marathon in Japan, early last month.

“The fastest marathon wearing a Toghu (male) is 4 hrs 24 mins 2 secs, and was achieved by Afowiri Fondzenyuy in Tokyo, Japan, on 2 March 2024,” Guinness World Record wrote on its website. 

Guinness World Record also wrote that: “Afowiri has run five marathons in Toghu attire. He made previous attempts at some Abbott World Marathon Majors races before breaking the record at the Tokyo Marathon”.

The attestation will be handed to him by Guinness World Records at a special ceremony in the near future. 


Known as the Toghu Marathoner, Afowiri Fondzenyuy earned the Abbot World Marathon Majors 6-Star medal after completing the 2024 Tokyo Marathon in 4 hours, 24 minutes, 2 seconds.

He was one hour faster than his 5 hours, 28 minutes and 33 seconds finish time in the Sydney Marathon last year. 

The native of Bui Division, in the North West Region, has been involved in 17 marathons across four continents.

He previously completed the New York, Chicago, Berlin, London and Boston marathons. 

After completing the Tokyo Marathon, Afowiri Fondzenguy, said: “Running in Toghu is like carrying the weight of my people, family, friends and donors,” adding that “it is a collective identity that I am selling to the world...”.

“Being acknowledged as the Toghu Marathoner is wonderful and getting a Guinness World Record because of it even means so much to me. The Guinness World Record will not see the last of me. I am out to do more, win more and run more as long as my legs carry me,” the entrepreneur and aspiring marathon coach pledged.

Afowiri Fondzengu, it should be recalled, has done 16 international marathons, covering 673 km. He ran five of them wearing Toghu, the heavily embroidered traditional attire. 

The feat has earned him the traditional title, “Nformi Kilé,” loosely translated to mean “General of runners” or “the Toghu Marathoner”, from the Fon of Nso, Sehm Mbinglo I.

Afowiri Fondzenyuy: Fastest marathon runner wearing Toghu



Running to build bridges

Afowiri runs international marathons to raise money for community development in Cameroon, through his Amom Foundation. 

Through his Running to Build Bridges, RBB Project, his goal is to raise $25,000 (about 15.2 million FCFA) to help in the reconstruction of 10 dilapidated bridges in Lun and Tsenmah neighbourhoods of Ngondzen village, Kumbo Subdivision.

Out of this amount, Afowiri Fondzenguy has so far raised about $5,000 (just over 3 million FCFA), which came in as he ran the 2024 Tokyo Marathon.

The broken down and dilapidated bridges, which are made of tree trunks and wood, are death traps that can no longer carry cars,”. 

The village is located 17 km North of Kumbo. 

When completed, the bridges will ease schooling for pupils of Saint John the Baptist Primary School Ngondzen as well as facilitate the movement of farmers, traders in the area and the entire community. 


“The project will directly and indirectly promote education in the area. Also, farmers and traders are often unable to travel out of their community. In most cases, only careful motorcycle riders use the bridges. In the rainy season, the people are cut off and it is the same for school children,” Afowiri Fondzenguy said. 

He went on to question: “How can they learn? Even when they manage to get to school, how will their tuition be paid by parents who cannot access their produce in their farms nor markets?”. 

According to Afowiri, the project is expected to run until 2025, when he hopes to do another marathon by then. The Amom Foundation, which he runs, has so far carried out education assessment research, rebuilt schools, offered desks and reading material to school children. 



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