Athletics is a truly international sport. At the 2017 IAAF World Championships over 200 countries had athletes participating. At any given time during the championships, participants could be sharing the stadium with athletes from a such a vast array of countries, the UN would be put to shame. Athletics has often provided the backdrop against which some of the greatest examples of the triumphs of the human spirit have played out. Among these triumphs, I believe that athletes who enter for more than one event in their individual capacity provide some of the best athletic inspirations.
‘She’ is defined by what she is not allowed
What she is not allowed to inhabit
‘Each morning redefines impossibility
Each morning says “Here I am. Again”
Each morning means I am possible
Cesária Évora singing Sodade
Cesária was a Cape Verdean singer. Nicknamed the “Barefoot Diva” for performing without shoes. She helped bring the amazing musical legacy of her homeland to the world’s attention. ‘Sodade’ means longing, longing for this land of mine.
Walk down the forested paths of the Congolese forest,
Watch the twinkle of the soft stars reflected in the Nile.
Be dazzled by the splendour of a Benin masked festival.
Marvel at the colour and smells of a Moroccan market.
And then learn to love Africa.
Every time I convince myself to stop talking about the colonial, something happens to drag me back. In a way, I suppose my continuous return to the colonial is a microcosm of the Africa’s relationship with the rest of the world. A reflection of ever-prevailing anti-blackness.
Black women who overcome draw a line in the sand,
for the next generation to step over, over, over,
till we get to the Promised Land…
I remember listening to a talk by Chimamanda Adichie, where she said some of her writing had been criticised for not being African enough. I wonder if the quota of starving children and ‘savage’ rituals had not been met.
This is one of my favourite books. The writing is exquisite to the point of pain. The story is laden with layers as deep as ancient crevices, exploring the extent of human frailties and the depths of human emotion.