Health and Science, Trending, World

First wheelchair, a Shinning star athlete from Sub-Saharan Africa in the Paralympics in Athens, Anne Wafula

Spread the love


Anne Wafula Strike Kenyan-born Athlete During a Photoshoot With For Anne Strike Organisation
Dr. Anne Wafula Strike Kenyan-born Athlete During a training  With For Anne Strike Organization. PHOTO FILE

Anne Olympia Wafula, an Athlete, Author & Motivational Speaker located in the United Kingdom (UK). She was born in Muhiu, Bungoma County, and her early life story is not a flowery one. Wafula was born normal, but at the age of two unfortunately  She suffered a polio attack, rendering her disabled.

But the disability is not an inability and the situation didn’t end her life story. Olympia picked herself up and started scaling heights, focusing on her education. After completing her A-levels and graduating from Moi University with a Bachelor of Education degree, Wafula became a teacher at the Machakos Technical College.

While teaching and focusing on her future life, she met a man who eventually called her hubby and later strengthened the union which led her to Britain in the early 2000s becoming the beginning of a new chapter.

Four years after relocating to the UK, she would embark on a career never taken by many when she ventured into the world of athletics.

In 2004, Wafula became the first wheelchair athlete from Sub-Saharan Africa to take part in the Paralympics in Athens.

In 2006, she became a British citizen. That allowed her to join Team GB and kick-started a professional career as a full-time athlete.

In 2007, she was among the delegates who were invited to Buckingham Palace. In 2014, Wafula was officially awarded the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to disability sports and charity work. The recognition is equivalent to what Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford holds.

Anne Wafula Strike Kenyan-born Athlete After Receiving an Award in 2014PLAY FOR CHANGE PHOTO FILE
Dr. Anne Wafula Strike Kenyan-born Athlete After Receiving an Award in 2014 PLAY FOR CHANGE PHOTO FILE

In her social media accounts, she shared that joy has furthered her education and she has graduated with an honorary degree. She showed genuine gratitude and honored the University Of Essex Pro-Chancellor.

”I want to show my genuine gratitude to the University Of Essex for acknowledging me with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of The University conferred to me by the Pro-Chancellor on Tuesday, 19th July. I am thrilled and delighted to receive this honor from such a wonderful and forward-thinking University. It’s a blessing to be in great company.” Facebook quote by Anne  Olympia Wafula Strike

She doesn’t regret changing her citizenship and to some extent abandoning teaching but now she has achieved all that is needed to satisfy her heart by acquiring UK citizenship.

Wafula has been named one of the top 12 influential women of color in the UK and received a Black Entertainment, Film, and Fashion Award (BEFFTA) for being the most inspirational figure.

Wafula won the UK-Kenyan Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2004 and has also won the Women for Africa Recognition Award.

Anne Wafula Graduation in UK while receiving the Honorary Degree, accompanied by lectures
Dr. Anne Wafula Graduation in the UK while receiving the Honorary Degree, accompanied by lectures PHOTO FILE

To mark Black History Month in the UK, Wafula was among the six athletes feted in October 2021. She shared the accolades with Lewis Hamilton. But retiring from athletics. The strong woman has been running life-changing initiatives, touching lives in the UK and across the world.

She established the Olympic-Wafula Foundation to promote healthy-living solutions among people living with disabilities and less disadvantaged people. She further concluded in a phone call that ”Racism is cancer that so many of us are enduring.” in the UK or the white nations she narrates that they sometimes even hide on pretense and say they have black friends or complement black persons to fool the rest.

On her success, she says that a lot of rejections and sidelining are always witnessed but she always does everything to fit in and tries to fake smiles at all times she faces turns off  ”I did everything to try and fit in but the smiles I got turned to malice and gossip on how to bring me down behind closed doors. They saw me as the person who had come to upset the balance and share in their glory ” Wafula concluded.

Finally, Anne Wafula urges the persons living with disability to desist from being silent about factors affecting society  ”As a disabled woman, a teacher, a Paralympian, a charity worker, and a campaigner for disabled Rights and Inclusion, I believe our lives end and we die when we stay silent about issues that affect society.”

Despite all the success, ups and downs sidelining, and rejection, persons living with disability should always be recognized and given total accreditation and services like others. Anne Wafula remains the iron lady who tries to fight and bring joy in the phase of living.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *