Friday, December 05, 2008

AquaQueen Ajulu Splashes Africa

In 2006, she was the youngest competitor at the FINA World Swimming Championships. The same year, she became the youngest ever swimming entrant at the 8th African Swimming Championships. In April this year, she swam the 50m breaststroke in 32.22 at the FINA World Championships - the fastest in the world in her age-group. Later on in August she became Kenya’s youngest ever Olympiad at the Beijing Olympics, representing our great nation in the swimming pool. Then this week, at the Africa Swimming Championships, she just did what Kenyan’s do best – run ish! She became Kenya’s first ever female medallist at any major international swimming competition! And she did it fwice (my new English word for ‘Four Times’)!!! winning gold in both the 50m & 100m breaststroke, bronze in the 100m freestyle and together with Pina Ercolano, Rachita Shah and Sylvia Brunlehner, another bronze in the 400m relay.

Meet Achieng’ Ajulu-Bushnell; born March 20th, 1994 (do the math). She stands at only 5ft 4in and weighs 52 kilos. Remarkably, Achieng (Aqua Ace) Ajulu's birth date is also the World Water Day! WT*...?!
AquaAce is ranked 54th in the world in the 50m breaststroke with a time of 32.22, which is also a Kenyan record. The Junior World Record is 32.05 held by China’s Qun Wang (who is 4 years older than AquaAce, by the way), is well within her sights. Watch out for a great rivalry between the two swimmers at the 2012 Olympics.

By completing a 50m and 100m breaststroke double, AA is hot on the heels of Africa’s greatest female swimmer-Penny Heyns. Penelope "Penny" Heyns is best known for being the only woman in the history of the Olympic Games to have won both the 100m and 200m breaststroke events - at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Achieng’ Ajulu Bushell – gunning to rewrite the remarkable tales of female African swimmers at the 2012 London Olympic Games. She’ll just have turned 18.
Coming from a country that gave rise to the 'audacity of hope' - you can bet your life savings that AA CAN and very possibly WILL be Africa's greatest female swimmer.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Nightmares of a White Christmas

What, with our man BO becoming US president and Will Smith playing the first black 007 secret agent, I feel that in this day and age, Christmas is still too European (or British, to be more precise). That's over 40 years into our post-colonial history.
There are elements about Christmas that have absolutely nothing to do with the occasion. In case you forgot, Christmas is the time when people of the Christian faith celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Now, tell me, what has this occasion got to do with;
A potbellied, bearded white man, who likes hanging around children, giving them gifts?…I swear, if the dude was black, then bleached himself to look white, lost about 90 kilos, he’d kinda be Michael Jackson.
The concept of Santa Claus is cool; what really ticks me off is when you see shopping malls (and even residential homes) bringing to life the Christmas theme using artificial snow! SNOW! What? The only snow I’ve ever seen is atop Mt. Kenya, and the last time I checked, Jesus was born in a horse shed somewhere in the Middle East! The Middle East is a vast, sandy and harsh land and the only snow they have is made by machines in Dubai.
My problem is that we continue looking at this religious holiday from a British perspective. Can we put on our African glasses and get a reality check on life, please!