Muhammed Ali, the Greatest, Goes Home

Muhammed Ali, the Greatest, Goes Home
June 05 01:51 2016

By Tony Okoroji

By their stubbornness,
they transformed the
African from being a
hewer of wood and fetcher
of water for the rest of
mankind. From being
merely slaves, Africans
may today compete with
the rest of God’s children
for God’s bounties. If the
truth must be told,
without the likes of
Muhammed Ali, there
never would have been a
Barack Obama, an
American President of
African heritage.

This is dedicated to one of the greatest Africans
that ever lived.
A few hours ago, news broke that the
incomparable Muhammad Ali, the boxer who
flew like a butterfly, stung like a bee has gone
on. At 74, Ali finally fell to Parkinson disease in
an Arizona Hospital.
Muhammed Ali occupies a significant place in
my list of the top ten black people of all times.
These are the people whose lives have reshaped
the perception of the world about the black
person.
Ali was like a Donald Trump but a much better
polished version. He had the gift of the garb. He
was bold. No one out-talked Muhammed Ali. No
one out hyped a fight than Muhammed Ali.

“It
will be a thriller when I beat the Gorilla in
Manila”, Ali boasted about his impending fight
with Joe Frazier in the Philippines. Ali messed
with the brains of Joe Frazier, and won.
Ali brought intellect into boxing and turned
what otherwise was a cheap sport into
intriguing and respected entertainment and a
global money spinner. He did it without being
subservient to anyone of any colour and in so
doing gave the black personality a lot of
respect.
While Muhammed Ali taunted everyone with
his macho black image, Papa James Brown from
the Apollo Theatre in Harlem was saying it
loud, “I am black and proud!” and Dr. Martin
Luther King Jnr was holding thousands spell
bound by his eloquence and his words. To me,
this trio in America may have done more to
reshape the perception of everyone in the world
about the true value of the black person.

To me,
they laid the groundwork for the world to
finally understand and appreciate the spirit of
the great Nelson Mandela.
In the coming days, a lot will be written and
said about Muhammed Ali, the greatest
sportsman of all times. One thing that will not
be in dispute is that there will never be another
Muhammed Ali.

Tony Okoroji , former president of the Performing
Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), is
chairman of the Board of Copyright Society of
Nigeria (COSON).