CHICAGO – He’s been in the National Football League for eight seasons, including five with the Bears, completing his most recent campaign in Chicago this past winter.
But over the last year, Christian Jones has been focusing some of his time on a new project outside of the realm of the game. This new venture all began with a test.
“Took an ancestry test, found out on my mom’s side, she has connections to Nigeria, specifically the Yoruba people in Nigeria,” said Jones. “I just started doing more research on them and just saw all these stories that kinda haven’t been told, and I’m like, ‘Wow, it would be cool to tell some of these stories in a cool way that people can kinda relate to and interact with.'”
So Jones along with his wife, Liz, came up with the idea to find ways to tell these stories: Lymari Media.
The company was built in 2021 as a way to share the stories of African history that have previously not been told. They’ve teamed up with creative director Chris Walker along with Dr. Shamika Mitchell to start the company.
“We both (Christian and Liz) know that there’s a lack of representation in the media not only with African history, stories, but just Black voices, Black people and characters in general. That’s something that we saw lacking,” said Liz Jones of Lymari Media. “It’s a lot of pressure but it also makes us very proud to be people that are putting these voices and these narratives out on the forefront.”
Their first story features Queen Amanirenes, ruler of the ancient Nubian Empire who helped to protect her people from a Roman invasion from 37 BC through 32 BC. Lymari Media released a book late in 2021 which informs new readers about her achievements centuries ago.
“We felt like that story is something that everyone can relate to with her,” said Christian Jones. “Because she’s a woman that’s strong, she’s smart, she’s also a fierce warrior but she’s also a mother and a wife at the same time. So you kinda see all sides of this character.
“People can find something they can take from her and related.”
Jones also took some time to discuss his future in football, since he is a free agent after spending the 2021 season with the Bears. He played in all 17 games last season with 24 tackles.
“I’m just kinda sitting here waiting to see kinda whether the Bears want to bring me back or any other team is interested in my service,” said Jones. “But free agency is also kind of an exciting time because sometimes you just don’t know where you’ll end up. I think there’s something fun about that.
“I just want to continue playing football. It’s been something I’ve been doing for a long time, even if it’s here with the Bears or somewhere else, I’m gonna be real grateful. I love to play and I just want to continue my career with that.”