Zab Judah, the professional boxer and four-time world champion, isn’t just punching the heavy bag these days. He’s also probably punching a work clock since he’s now an assistant nurse in Michigan.
According to TMZ, the 40-year-old recently completed a nurse’s assistance program, and he’s now certified in CPR and First-Aid training. He also teaches a class to other people who are taking the course.
Judah took and completed the course at Excelling Nursing Academy, and the Director Teberah Alexander said he works with seniors who have dementia and Alzheimer’s. The boxer records their vital signs and removes catheters as well and has become a favorite of the patients and staff.
On top of that, Judah is still boxing and trains regularly. His last fight was in January of this year against Jorge Luis Munguia, who he defeated by TKO in the second round.
Based on an Instagram post, it was clear that Judah felt proud about finishing the course, fulfilling a personal goal. He was also encouraged by comments from fellow students.
“I would like to thank the instructor Mrs. T, Zab Judah and Bobby Hill for allowing myself the opportunity to dig deep inside, to push myself to accomplish short-term and long-term goals,” one student wrote.
Besides Judah, there have been a number of celebrities who’ve taken on second careers after fame hit, whether it was to pursue a dream or to bring in some extra dollars.
Take Monica for example. In 2014, the singer and Grammy Award winner posted a photo of herself in scrubs. While some thought she was studying to become a nurse, that wasn’t the case at all. In actually, she’s pursuing a career in forensics.
“I have other dreams and aspirations, so I pursue them when my babies are asleep and music is done,” she wrote. “Moral of the story. #WeCanIfWeBelive. Never give up on your dreams.”
I have other dreams and aspirations so I Pursue them when my babies are asleep & my musics done!! Moral of the story #WeCanIfWeBelieve never give up on your dreams #YOUCAN #BeenAtWorkSince7yesterday #ThankGODforMyMomAndPa #ScrubsAndAMandatoryThermal #DatHawkBITIN LOL⛄️❄️⛄️ #UKnowItsColdWhenIGetThisPale LOL
Erykah Badu is another successful singer who’s been pursuing a goal outside of music. In a 2013 interview, the “Tyrone” creator said she was studying to become a midwife after first becoming an official doula. Her interest in helping women deliver their babies came after she assisted Stic.man’s wife, from the group Dead Prez, deliver her little one.
“They’re my best friends, both of them, Stic.man and Afya,” Badu explained. “I was actually flying from somewhere, doing something. On my layover, Stic.man called me and told me Afya was in labor. I just redirected to New York, because we’re friends, and I just had Seven a couple years before. I just wanted to be there and we just all wanted to be together. I happened to be the person, one of the people, that stayed up with Afya … I love being of service in that way. I’m an official doula, and I am working to get my midwifery license right now.”
Related news: Erykah Badu, Monica, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”
But it’s not just artists from the R&B and Soul world who’ve chased other passions. Do you remember the New York rapper Mims and his hit song “This is Why I’m Hot?”
These days Mims is running his own company called RecordGram, and he created an app that allows producers to upload beats and lease them to artists for a fee.
According to Forbes, Mims got the idea after he received an $850,000 advance from Capitol records when “This is Why I’m Hot” hit. But after he spent money on promotion and other things, he only pocketed $30,000, which made him want to switch career paths.
MC Hammer is another rapper who left a full-time hip-hop career for the tech industry. After making a name for himself in the ‘90s with hits like “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit,” he scored a promotional deal with the iPad case maker Zagg. He also helps develop iPad apps and has given lectures on working in the tech space at schools like Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and Wharton.
Shaquile O’Neal also followed a dream of his right into a job with the Doral police department in South Florida. In 2015, he was officially sworn in as a reserve police officer. His main focus at that time was being a presence in the community and working with children.
Since then, O’Neal has been a jack of all trades by still holding down his hosting duties on TNT, and being a pitchman for several products and companies.
Karyn Parsons, who used to play the self-absorbed Hilary Banks on the TV series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” seems immersed in her second career.
After the show ended, the now 51-year-old started the organization Sweet Blackberry that creates short animated films about lesser-known people throughout Black history. The shorts are now available on Netflix and have also been used in schools and libraries across the United States.
“We tend to celebrate a handful of Black people and achievements,” Parsons told HuffPost. “It’s getting better, but when we only talk about a few people that did great things, I feel the subliminal message is, ‘Hey, every now and then a special Black person came along and did something good.’”