Uganda’s World Champion Inzikuru inspired me – South Sudanese Olympic Athlete Narrates

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Olympic Athlete Majok

Abraham Majok is one of the many athletes who were set to represent their respective countries in the recently postponed Tokyo Olympics.However, this still hangs in the balance.

He was born in a small town called Yirol,in Lake state in South Sudan.He was born to Deborah and Matet Guem.Like many South Sudanese children,Abraham was born at home due to the lack of proper health facilities. Both of his parents come from the same town of Yirol.

Abraham’s education spurs from his native country to what he now calls his home,Uganda.

He went to Pagarau and Pankar primary schools for primary one and two respectively.
However in 2007, Abraham and his parents left Sudan and relocated to Uganda and settled in the Westnile district of Arua.

He enrolled at Anyafio primary school for primary three to continue his education.In 2008, He joined Homing dove international primary school where he completed his primary level of education.Unfortunately, his father died when he was doing his first two MOCK papers.This stressed him so much, adding more sorrow to an already struggling family.

He then joined Arua Public secondary school for form one.After just a year, he joined Mvara SS on Sports scholarship where he completed high school.

It was at Mvara SS that Abraham’s career in athletics took a brighter turn.Under the guidance if Alua Issa Shaban, the Head of Athletics department at the school,Abraham began to curve a career in athletics for himself.

In an interview with the UBC Online,  Abraham disclosed that he has not forgotten that his athleticism foundation was laid way back in junior school.

“Well OB (referring to the writer whom he studied with) as you know there was that program ‘evening run’ where everybody goes on road, I remember you guys used to dodge seriously. So sometimes it was like fun to me,because I started doing it at Anyafio (the first school he went to in Uganda) but I was always among the last students. “

Abraham was further induced into athletics because he admired Inzikuru Dorcus,a former World 3,000 metre steeplechase Gold medalist in 2005,who hails from Maracha district, initially part of Arua district.

“Each time people were always talking about Dorcus Inzikuru and the love that people had for her, I said one day I must be like this lady.And that’s why up to now I love that lady very much although she has not noticed that she has inspired somebody like me.”

While at his high school (Mvara SS), Abraham was introduced to an Italian sports enthusiast by his coach.This boosted his morale since he started receiving some financial support.

“The guy (referring to the Italian) did some shopping for me and that was the first time I gained encouragement. I became more motivated and said this is a good chance.And the guy also motivated me by promising a lot. He promised to take me to Italy or his camp in Kenya.So I was empowered.”

Ibrahim Majok

He kept on training harder and an opportunity knocked in January 2014 when he was in S.2 in the MAYANK , an annual Westnile athletics competition.Sadly for him, Arua district officials shunned him.As usual, his coach Alua Isa Shaban was able to work out a deal for him to participate and represent Koboko district. Abraham went on to win that race.He was given Shs.30,0000 winning price.The Koboko team coach also gave him Shs.30,000 making it Shs.60,000.With the money Abraham was making in athletics competitions, he supported his single mother by paying part of the school fees for his siblings, buying requirements needed at school among other home requirements, something he has continued to do upto date.

In 2016, he participated in his first International engagement in South Africa.During the All Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco,abraham broke the South Sudanese national record in the 1,500m race by running 3:43.Much as he was four seconds behind the Olympics qualification time, and South Sudan being a new nation with few athletes,he was selected to represent his country.Abraham’s dream of Olympics came true.He was now set to represent his country in the Tokyo Olympics.

However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Olympics Committee postponed the games to 2021.Japan will still host the event.

“This was the year really I have been waiting for ever since I started my career.I have been having the hope to reach Olympics. But unfortunately due to the pandemic, the games can’t take place and had to be postponed. But this gives me an opportunity to train more and improve myself.I think it was God’s plan,” said Abraham.

Abraham attributes his journey to stardom to commitment and having hope and advises other sportsmen and women not to give up.

“What I always tell people especially the sports guys is nothing is impossible where there is commitment and hope.This means having hope in what you are doing.Then when you have commitment in what you are doing then you can manage it.The two go hand in hand because If you have hope and you don’t commit yourself into doing it and you only say I hope I can do it and you are just there sitting, no way.Then I always tell people never to give up.I almost gave up on myself when things were hard,it was until I became a good athlete that sometimes I would get something little and support myself with.It was not easy.”

Abraham currently studies Japanese language at Fuji language school.He will start a new computer course (diploma) this month,and hopes to join university in October in order to pursue either Business administration or Logistics and Procurement. He currently goes for lectures in the morning regardless of the global threat posed by the COVID-18 pandemic.

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