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Simply the greatest!

GUESTXCOLUMNHard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Omar Ali.

The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20, has wasted 30 years of his life” – Muhammad Ali

A tale of two Alis. One, the greatest boxer and showman of all time, one of my heroes, a man who not only bragged about what he could do and then did it, but a man who was more than de greatest heavyweight boxing champion of all time.

He was a fella who stood up fuh principle, who tek on de mighty US Government, a man of great faith, a humanitarian, a husband and a father.

Many of his quotes are legendary, particular some of de comments bout opponents in de ring. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

He bragged about doing it and he did! He also said, “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was!” And “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

Suddenly in de past 24 hours, we looking at de famous quotes from the greatest as de great man gone to Allah! On de other hand, who yuh might ask is Omar Ali? Well, in Bubbadus, he might simply be known, if I tell wunnah, as de father of another famous person.

Ask any Bajan who is Veoma Ali? Doctor Ali is one of de most talented and hardest working people I ever come across, driven by a passion fuh excellence, always striving to do better, to learn more, to share and be a candle in de darkness, bringing light to de day.

Fuh me, hands down de finest all round talent I ever came across in my long career. Omar is she father, a retired headmaster and a master cook too! I can attest to he culinary skills (sadly de daughter did not inherit those) and I hear Veoma say pun Capital Media HD, Sunday morning gone, dat she pappy tell she dem words when she was ten years old!

De man is deep. He is famous to dem dat pass through he hands when dem was at school in T&T and between he and he brilliant wife Vidya, also a school teacher – not a regular school teacher but de authority on the English language – between dem two, they nurtured dis young talent Veoma into what she has become.

Omar and Vidya are not just teachers and parents. They are people of principle, humanitarians, people of faith, love and compassion, just like de other Ali, Muhammad. Thankfully dem very much alive and well but, sadly, Muhammud’s time with us is up and he has gone to higher ground.

Tributes pouring from all over de globe. I like President Obama’s and Michelle’s. “Muhammad Ali was the greatest, period!” Some other famous quotes from the heavyweight boxer come to mind and we can all glean something from dem!

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

“Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

“At home, I am a nice guy, but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.”

“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

So much of what Ali said was profound. I hope he knew in life what we think of him today.

Thanks for the beautiful memories, Muhammad! You gave the world excitement and you instilled hope. Rest in peace! Your work is done.

So often, as Omar Ali said, we see examples of people with great talent who achieve nothing in life and conversely we does see others wid limited talent, work relentlessly to achieve success and they do.

Talent gine tek yuh only so far. De blood sweat and sometimes de tears got to do de rest. Wasting a beautiful and gifted mind must be one of de greatest tragedies of life.

Some born gifted, others wuk hard to achieve but we all can if we prepared to do as Ali did!

I am blessed to have lived in de era that gave de world, Muhammad Ali, JFK, Michael Jackson, Prince, Tony Cozier, Sir Garfield Sobers (thankfully, still with us), John Lennon, Elvis, Bob Marley, Ché, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and others!

I, Market Vendor, gone fuh now. You have a blessed and a wonderful day. Yuh hear?

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