Africans Who Achieved Greatness Despite Disabilities
Cyprus, June 5, 2018, (AltAfrika) – We have some celebrities with fame and medals in Africa yet with different degrees of challenges. Here are the list of some known Celebrities
Ade Adepitan is a former wheelchair basketball player and has played for team GB in two Paralympic Games and other championships.
He was born in 1973 in Nigeria. At 15 months old, he was diagnosed with Poliomyelitis, which caused him to use a wheelchair. When he turned 3, his parents decided to move to the UK in search of a better quality of life for him.
Ade came across basketball when he was a teenager and took part in his first Paralympics at the Sydney Paralympic Games in 2000. He continued to play for five years, winning medals in the 2002 and 2005 European championships, captaining the Great British team at the World Championships in 2002 and winning a medal at the Athens Paralympics in 2004.
After retiring from basketball, Ade got involved in a number of television shows. He was a presenter for the CBBC show Xchange, starred as a basketball coach in the series Desperados and presented the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games for Channel 4. He has also featured in numerous documentaries and campaigns against disability and racial discrimination.
Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo is a blind Nigerian song writer/music producer per excellence who started his professional training as a lawyer, but later branched into music full-time to fulfill a lifelong desire. His style comprises a wide spectrum of genres based on his careful understudy of such classical, jazz and traditional music greats as Tchaikovsky, Dave Grusin and Haruna Isola respectively. He is the CEO/Head of Production of CAMP (Cohbams Asuquo Music Productions)
Growing up a young boy, he organized concerts in his neighborhood, drumming on his mother’s barrels of water.
“All the kids from the neighbouring block would come and we’d hang out and we’d make so much noise. I didn’t realize at the time that I was preparing myself for what would be my life, my career path, my destiny,” Asuquo remembers.
His musical journey, however seemed to come to a halt a few years later when he gained admission to pursue studies in law. But Asuquo soon realised that he had to follow his musical passion, leaving university to embark on a path that, for a young blind musician in Nigeria, was far from easy. It didn’t take long for Asuquo to finally prove himself as his musical talent soon began to shine.
“(I had to) sleep on studio floors all across Lagos, worked at different studios, worked without pay, I’ve been out on the road, out on the streets, doing my thing,” Asuquo recalls.
Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius
Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius born 22 November 1986) is a South African former sprint runner who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend in 2013. Both of Pistorius’s legs had been amputated below the knees when he was 11 months old. Pistorius ran in both non-disabled sprint events and in sprint events for below-knee amputees. He was the tenth athlete to compete at both the Paralympic Games and Olympic Games.
After becoming a Paralympic champion, Pistorius attempted to enter non-disabled international competition, over persistent objections of the IAAF and charges that his artificial limbs gave an unfair advantage. Pistorius eventually prevailed in this legal dispute. At the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, Pistorius became the first amputee to win a non-disabled world track medal. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Pistorius became the first double-leg amputee to participate in the Olympics.
On Valentine’s Day in 2013, Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in his Pretoria home. He claimed he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder hiding in the bathroom, but he was arrested and charged with murder. At his trial the following year, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide. He received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide and a concurrent three-year suspended prison sentence for a separate reckless endangerment conviction.
In November 2014, prosecutors asked the sentencing judge for permission to appeal the verdict. Permission was granted in December, and the case was presented to a five-person panel at the Appeal. He was released on house arrest, and on 3 December 2015 the Appeal Court overturned the culpable homicide verdict and convicted him of murder. Pistorius appeared in court on 13 June 2016 to start the sentence hearing for the murder conviction which concluded on 15 June 2016 after Judge Thokozile Masipa adjourned the sentencing until 6 July 2016 when she extended Pistorius’s sentence to six years. On Appeal by the state for a longer prison sentence, the Supreme Court of Appeal more than doubled Pistorius’s prison term to 13 years and five months.
Born into an impoverished polygamous family with an enormous lump on his chest, a bad health condition, and having to cope as a crippled child, Anthony Olanrewaju Awotoye, popularly known as Tony Tetuila, is proof that a man’s beginning does not necessarily determine his future.
This Oro, Kwara State born recording artiste and song writer is widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s living Hip-Hop legends and in his own words, owes his success and life to God and his mother’s love, bravery, selflessness and prayers. He started walking but he’s legs are not perfectly balanced.
17 years after a major accident that affected his two legs, gospel artist Yinka Ayefele continues to thank God for saving his life. He was involved in a fatal accident on the 12th of December 1997 and since then the Gospel musician has been on a wheelchair.
Despite this, Yinka Ayefele has continued to thrive in the genre of gospel music and he has made a fortune from shows and his album sales.
Kgothatso Montjane, affectionately known as KG, was born with a congenital birth defect in her leg and hands. This meant that she had no choice but to have her leg amputated below the knee at the tender age of 12. Unlike many other athletes, she only began playing her sport, tennis, when she was 20.
Nonetheless, KG has become the number 1 wheelchair woman’s tennis player in South Africa within just 6 years. She is also positioned 9th in the world on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Wheelchair Tennis rankings.
She participated in the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games, making this year’s Games her 3rd. Other accolades include an astounding 29 singles titles and being the 1st African wheelchair tennis player, to qualify for the esteemed Nippon Electronic Corporation (NEC) Wheelchair Tennis Masters, and Invacare Doubles Masters.
There is much more to Louzanne Coetzee than meets the eye. Born blind, she was schooled at the Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired in Worcester, away from her home town of Bloemfontein. She was the country’s top matric achiever for people with special needs in 2012, and later studied Communications at the University of the Free State.
This bright spark began religiously training for athletics in 2012, and started participating in the national championships for the disabled in 2013. That year, and in the following 2 years, she won a gold medal at the competition for the 800m sprint among other events.
Whilst participating in the Disabled Athletics Grand Prix in the Netherlands, Louzanne broke a new record for Africa by winning the 1500m sprint with a time of 5:00:25. Whilst there, she found out that she was chosen for South Africa’s team for this year’s Paralympic Games. She no doubt kept her word that you should never let disability “hold you back.”