Thursday, February 11, 2010

Josia Thuguane




99 Pounds of Heart - Josia Thugwane

He lived in a place where he had no rights.
Living away from his family,
so he could earn a living.
The place was South Africa.

The people didn’t like that arrangement,
so they dedicated themselves
to making a change,
and begin to live with dignity.

He worked with the miners,
who toiled to take
gold and diamonds out of the ground.
But he never made much money,

so he ran.

He ran to take his mind off the oppression he faced.
He ran to make money so he could be closer to his family.
He ran because he could do it well.
He ran, and ran, and ran.

His people did what few thought possible.
They liberated Nelson Mandela,
and made him President
of the new South Africa.

Josia Thugwane could now
compete all over the world.
He won the marathon,
and some prize money in Hawaii.

He used the money to buy a car,
so he could spend more time with his family.
But there were many who wanted that car,
and Josia was shot when they tried to take it.

He recovered,
and ran again.
He ran, and ran, and ran.
Then, came the Olympics.

No person from South Africa,
with a dark skin color
had ever won a medal in the Olympics.
But the times, they were a-changing.

It was a hot day.
Marathon runners like to compete
when it’s cool.
So after twenty miles no one wanted to make their move.

But Josia Thugwane and his people
had waited for this day for a long time.
It was time to get some of the gold
his people took out of the ground.

It was time to show the world
that the Black people of South Africa
were just as good as everyone else.
Yes, it was time to take a step into history.

So Josia Thugwane took the lead
in the Marathon and didn’t look back.
He ran away from the oppression of the past.
He ran, and ran, and ran.

He measured five feet, two inches.
He weighed ninety-nine pounds.
And when he accepted the gold medal,
his ninety-nine pound frame
carried the hopes and aspirations of South Africa and the world.

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