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Scaling the walls of life, part two

This edition of my series talks about using your talent or gift as a catalyst to scale the walls of life. You are fearfully and wonderfully made; you are unique! You have a gift or talent that no one else has in the whole wide world! It doesn’t matter where you are coming from or your background. Please pause and look at your thumb, the fact that no one has the same thumb print as yours is a clear justification of this fact.

One powerful story that excites me and urges me on is that of  Abebe Bikila who was a double Olympic marathon champion from Ethiopia. Bikila was the son of a poor shepherd but he had a talent which stunned the world.

Abebe decided to work for the Imperial Bodyguard of Ethiopia to eke out a living to support his poor family. He didn’t have transport fare, and had to walk over 20 kilometres to Addis Ababa where he started as a private bodyguard for the members of the royal family.

In 1960, Bikila was added to the Ethiopian Olympic team only at the last moment, as the plane to Rome was about to leave, as a replacement for Wami Biratu, who was seriously ill. Adidas, the shoe sponsor at the 1960 Summer Olympics, had few shoes left when Bikila went to try out shoes and he ended up with a pair that didn’t fit comfortably, so he couldn’t use them. He decided to run barefoot, the way he had trained for the race, and won in a record time of 2:15:16.2!

If you think this was an astonishing feat, just wait a minute; 40 days prior to the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, during a training session, Abebe felt a pain, unaware of the cause of the pain, he attempted to continue with the training but collapsed. He was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis. He was operated on and shortly thereafter, and even during his recovery period started jogging in the hospital courtyard at night!

Abebe Bikila travelled to Tokyo but was not expected to compete – surprisingly, he did and finished the marathon and broke his own record in a new Olympic record time of 2:12:11:2.4 to the cheers and admiration of 70,000 spectators at the Olympic stadium. Isn’t it amazing? 

You can also get to the top with your gift, don’t forget that from prison, Joseph became a Prime Minister in Egypt because of his gift of dream interpretation. Continue to do what you know how to do best, and you will never regret. 

I had the opportunity to work at the Flagstaff Staff House as a Special Assistant to President John Mahama because of my gift of writing.

You have something greater than that of Abebe Bikila. Explore the gold mine in you and soar up like an eagle.

Anthony Obeng Afrane



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