Henry Wanyoike biography Victory Despite Blindness
Henry Wanyoike biography Victory Despite Blindness

The Paralympic games ended in London last Sunday and the victorious team has already come home even meeting the British envoy at his house in Nairobi for a huge bash.

I am an advocate for the disabled regularly lambasting pubs in my weekly venue review for lacking disability access. Whilst everyone needs to have access to venues to that they can drink and do the silly things that folks with alcohol in their blood stream do, I have been watching the Paralympics with some trepidation.

The thing is that why watching many of the competitors don’t have the most graceful of gaits while competing. In fact watching often left me feeling “woiyee” whilst this person on my screen was doing their darndest to win glory. The most disturbing race was the 800 metres where a Kenyan runner was pulled to fourth as he was trying to get away.

The thing is one cannot discount the disabled or rather challenged as they get that way in different ways. Some are born that way and some have shoved down their throat and they have to live in a way that they hadn’t imagined. An excellent book to show those in the latter category is Victory Despite Blindness the biography of Paraympic legend that is Henry Wanyoike. The story of the blind athlete is told in the Joseph Ngunjiri written book which in case you are Nairobi based you can buy for only Kshs260 at Bookpoint in town.

The book starts with a scene where Wanyoike is pushed to enter a long distance race as a school boy and he takes off like the wind. His main hope is to win and get glucose at the end of the race. The book goes on to give the life of a child in rural Kenya that you will rarely see anywhere. The young athlete grows up destined for greater things before he loses his sight and it takes a long time before he starts running again this time with the help of a guide. His tales of how he kept falling and the pains he went through as he tried to back to his best are both tear filled and hilarious. The man eventually through his pig headedness stubborn nature eventually makes it to the big stage winning glory every where he goes.

The beauty of this book is that it is told in simple language and shows that pain and suffering that he goes through before being esteemed with fame and fortune. It has some excellent illustrations that help the reader who may have an issue picturing the tale have a clearer pic.

All in all this is a well crafted tale and I recommend it highly. Seriously. I’m not kidding. True. Believe me. Go on… buy it… you know you want too…