The daughter of a carpenter like Rosa Park, the child of a teacher like Tosin Amusan, or the son of a street trader like Raphael Adegboye can make history.
- Rosa Park, born in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1913, stood for racial equality, mutual respect, and the dignity of humanity. She would be arrested and victimized for her views. Eventually, she would prevail; the voice of reasoning and the voice of the marginalized would prevail.
She rewrote history, and now, in her honor, by a 1995 US congressional act, her statue is the only statue on Capitol Hill that can never be removed.
It was a rare privilege to be standing beside the same statue at Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.
- Nigerians can run, and not only on the track, but also in their homes. They daily run from harsh economic challenges, gloomy political terrain, and countless social and cultural unrest.
In running, many have become hopeless and helpless.
Tosin Amusan, a Nigerian athlete, gave the nation, especially its youth, a reason to be hopeful again. Yesterday, in the finals of the 100 meters hurdles, at the World Athletes Championship in Oregon, she gave Nigeria its first-ever world record in track and field.
After a long while, the national anthem of the most populous black nation in the world can be heard. In tears, we can sing ‘arise oh compatriots’ and remember the labor of our heroes and heroines again. Thank you so much Tosin.
- When you graduate with a second class lower (3.41 out of 5 CGPA) degree in animal science, and you have no ‘uncle’ or ‘aunt’ at the ‘top’ to help you, your chances of getting a real job in Nigeria are almost zero.
While, as early as grade 11 (SS2), Raphael passed all his GSCE exams and had 7 distinctions and 2 credits in his WAEC exams in grade 12 (SS3), university years just had its unique challenges.
Rising above his first degree setback, and all manners of hurdles and troubles, Raphael Adegboye has become a light who keeps getting brighter by the day; a voice who is getting clearer with each dawn.
You do not need to be Rosa, Tosin, or Raphael. Just be yourself. Be the ‘you’ that God created.
Find your voice and speak with it; find your track and run your race on it, find your own land, and go make it green.
© Raphael Adegboye