By Patrick Achitabwino:
People we cherish are those that fear nothing; those that refuse to live by the book written by others; that refuse to live according to the guidelines of what others created.
Successful people write their own book, walk their own path and challenge their own thinking. They do not believe in business as usual.
Achievers believe that what one thinks of one can achieve. It was belief and challenging the normal thinking that saw Armstrong becoming the first person to land on the moon. It seemed foolish to think that a man could land on the moon until it happened.
In her own words, Oprah Winfrey says: “I was raped at the age of nine.”
Bill gates emphasises: “I didn’t even complete my university education.’’
The world’s celebrated neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, points out: “I struggled academically throughout my elementally school.”
Record-breaking footballer Lionel Messi says: “I used to serve tea at a shop to support my football training.’’
These people never allowed the circumstances of life to hinder them and that is why we celebrate them. They refused to think of the term ‘impossible’.
While other people in the very same situations would be seeing an insurmountable mountain to climb, these cherished any obstacle to live the dream of their life.
The world has amazing people that do not look at their situation as a barrier but an opportunity to focus on a different path. The amazing life of Dumisani Ntombela crystallises that we can become what we want as long as we are willing to become that.
It clicks in the ears as unbelievable that Ntombela became blind at the age of one because of cancer but has not allowed his disability to be an inability. “I have suffered a lot of prejudice from people who think that I am incapable of doing anything. I have proven myself that I can be better than those who can see,” Ntombela said.
He is a visually impaired coach who has always dedicated his time and passion to women’s soccer. Business Media Live reports that his women’s soccer team, Silver Spears from Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, was recently crowned champions of the annual Maimane Alfred Phiri games in Alexandra.
Ntombela did not allow the stereotypes of others over him to curb his dream.
“Some people in my neighbourhood used to call me spoko (ghost) and thought I would infect their children. It was a painful experience to both my parents, particularly my mother, who has been my pillar of strength.”
He encouraged other people with disabilities not to allow anyone to feel pity for them or patronise them.
“When someone says you are blind, tell them it is what they see, not what you are because you can achieve far much better things than them.
“I coach people who can see but they appreciate that I am their leader. I also used to play football and score against people who can see while I couldn’t,” he said.
We can move out of poverty if we make decisions that see us cutting the strings of poverty. We can grow our gross domestic product extensively if we believe that it is possible.
We can be a food-sufficient nation and even become an exporter of food if we believe that it is possible.
We can be a corruption-free nation if we believe that it is possible. We become what we think. If we are living in the poorest nation on earth, then we have all collectively failed.