Three African athletes who have untiring work ethic and survived several odds to become role models are the guests on this week’s edition of African Voices, sponsored by Globacom on the Cable News Network (CNN).
The first guest is a rower, Lawrence Brittain; from Johannesburg, South Africa who defied the vagaries of ill-health to continue his outstanding performances as a rower. 28-year-old Brittain was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease and lymph node cancer in October 2014 after he had been living with the condition for two years without knowing.
Brittain had to leave the rowing scene to undergo six three-week cycles of chemotherapy for about a year and by 2016, though he had gained about 15kg during the treatment, he returned to his passion and subsequently competed in the men’s coxless pair event at the Summer Olympics. He won the silver medal along with partner Shaun Keeling at the Rio Olympics.
Karabo Sibanda, Olympic runner from Botswana and Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed, Olympic cyclist from Egypt.
The second guest, 20 year-old Karabo Sibanda, is a sprinter from Botswana. Though originally a junior chess player, Karabo was inspired by world-class athlete, Usain Bolt, whom he saw competing at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The spectacle and attendant glory surrounding Bolt’s performance inspired Sibanda to the extent that he decided to train and become an athlete. Not only did he make an amazing comeback after two major injuries, Sibanda who specializes in 400 meters won two medals as well as multiple age group medals at the 2016 African Championships. He subsequently competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics, where he finished fifth in the 400 meters final.
The third guest on the programme is a female Olympic road racing cyclist, Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed, who was born in 1996 and grew into a decorated track cyclist who is determined to put her country on the world podium. She clinched fourth place in the African Continental Championships.
In a statement, Globacom described the three young athletes as unlimited models and sources of inspiration to their peers not only in Africa but throughout the world as their sterling performances had proven that no achievement ever gets beyond a determined and diligent person.