Caster Semenya’s grandmother hopes her granddaughter’s Olympic gold medal in Rio earlier this morning will finally put all the naysayer’s opinions to bed.
“It goes without saying that Mokgadi (referring to Caster) is simply amazing. Her win just proved once again that you can’t put a good person down, no matter how hard you try,” said 88-year-old Mmaputi Sekgala.
She was one of the millions of South Africans who woke up in the early hours of this morning to witness Semenya display a stellar performance in the 800m women’s finals.
The grandma was joined by her grandson Kgabo Sekgala and his wife Makoena Sekgala as well as their four children in huddling around a small TV to watch the nation’s heroine in action.
Wrapped in a blanket and a doek, the granny said it was difficult for a person her age to wake up in the wee hours of the morning. “But I wouldn’t miss the race for the world,” she said.
The family live in Fairlie, a village deep in northern Limpopo. This is were Caster grew up with her cousins.
Caster was always a firm favourite to win the finals in Rio. She crossed the finish line in 1:55.28 to break her own national record by 0.05.
It was joy all around the small household. The family expressed their delight, jumping up and down while singing praise songs.
Chants, praises and ululation filled the modest house. Vehicles outside joined the celebration by hooting.
With tears held back her grandma blurted out “Mokgadi ngwanaka (Mokgadi my child)” several times. She followed that up with: “Just look at her, showing off God’s given talent”.
A proud cousin Kgabo, who grew up with Caster and introduced her to athletics, said he was still trying to wrap his head around the achievement.
“I am still overwhelmed and she did very well. She made our family and South Africa at large extremely proud,” he said.
Sekgala said it was ridiculous that people still accused the 800m women’s champion of being a man. “I know she’s a woman… I raised her myself,” she said.
She said Caster had long been teased for her boyish appearance. “What can I do when they call her a man, when she’s really not a man? It is God who made her look that way.
“This morning’s victory should be testimony that Mokgadi is a superstar champion and more is yet to come.”
Her cousin added that Caster was at peace with the world, and more importantly with herself and those close to her.
He said gone was the inner rage and hostility that consumed her in the wake of her despicable treatment following the 2009 World Championships where she won gold.
Source:- Pretoria news