When sprinter Abdul Rasheed Saminu competed in the 200m heats and 4x100m relay semis at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, it was a culmination of years of hard work in some of the most unimaginable places for a student athlete.
I first caught up with the University of Ghana Legon athlete earlier this year at the uncompleted UG Athletics stadium where he along with teammate Isaac Botsio told they wanted to secure places in Ghana’s 4x100m relay team. It looked like a daunting task back then given gulf of difference between our foreign based athletes and the domestic based ones. But in grass to grace story, Saminu made the team at the Commonwealth Games after scotching a 10.31s clocking at the African Universities Games in Kenya.
NOTE: Abdul Rasheed Saminu finished 3rd in 200m Heat 2 at Birmingham 2022.Rasheed run a personal best of 21.32s but missed out on a non automatic qualifying slot to the Semis.
Back from the Birmingham Games, Saminu told me about where he has come from to be where he is today.
He told this me, growing up in the northern part of Ghana is not easy.
“I have sold koko and kose(a popular Hausa breakfast menu) with my mother; sold banana and watermelon; sold meat with my auntie, soldwater, pushed truck. I used to farm. I did bola (collecting waste products) work at Ashaiman. I pushed truck at Ashaiman market. When some of my people saw me on TV, they kept sending me my old photos. That is not the end of life.”