Words by Tinashe Zvobgo
The untimely death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and seven others was a tragedy
which touched the world. The widespread international mourning of Kobe’s death, which was then followed with a celebration of his life inspired me to reflect not only on his achievements and his contributions to basketball (and other areas), but those of other figures who are seen at GOATs.
Admittedly, this is a personal list rather than the definitive word on the subject – that is not the purpose of this article. Rather, these articles aim to pay homage to those who lead by example, refusing to accept anything other than excellence. For those reading, wondering why I am comparing excellence with a Goat; it’s an acronym, which stands for Greatest of All Time. Majority of the time, it is used during fierce back and forth debates of trying to decide which sport figure or team is better.
However, in this series, we will be branching out, looking at the likes of Lewis Hamilton. Here’s a young man who through scarifies made by his family, determination and hard work, has managed to thrive and found himself approaching a huge millstone in tying Michael Schumacher record for overall Formula 1 titles. Even though he’s approaching a milestone which would have him in conversation for the GOAT of his profession, he is now focusing on improving the environment and being the only black driver in Formula 1, is using his platform to highlight the Black Lives Matter movement.
Media behemoths like film Producer, Writer, Director & Actor Tyler Perry is another one. Admittedly I have never seen a Madea movie, which is an iconic character created by Tyler Perry, and I probably never will, but do not get it confused; Tyler Perry is one of the greatest minds we have ever seen in the film industry. Being someone like myself who has studied the arts, what he has managed to achieve is nothing short of incredible and throughout this series, I will be exploring why exactly that is.
I guess for my definition of a GOAT; it’s someone who excelling/excelled in their chosen field to the highest possible standard. People who aren’t famous in the usual sense, like David Goggins. He’s an ultra-endurance athlete who has had to battle his demons, not even including having to attempt two of the dreaded hell weeks to earn his place as a Navy Seal. All of these individuals and others have used their sport or profession to challenge themselves and get much more from it than just success. Hopefully, through this series, you’ll learn why it is that they are so inspirational. Moreover, you might just learn something that helps you along your journey.