5 black people that show life doesn’t have to start at 40!

 5 black people that show life doesn’t have to start at 40!

There is the popular adage that says ‘life starts at 40’. I agree with the spirit of the adage. It simply advocates that it is never too late to make an impact, it is never too late to correct mistakes, it is never too late to start afresh and whenever a person wakes up is that person’s morning.

Previously, I never understood why a 60 year old man went back to university! In my simple mind, I wondered what the point is. After all, he is old and cannot really make any meaningful use of that certificate. However, when I thoroughly understood the ‘life starts at 40’ adage, I realized that whether the old man goes to the university or not at age 60, he will still be 64 years in 4 years. He cannot stop it. He cannot stop aging, neither can he stop time from passing. However, he can control what he does with the time.

Time is life itself and idle time is wasted years. Literarily.  Many of us know the KFC food chain but many don’t know that the founder Colonel Sanders established KFC at the age of 65 years! Imagine if he felt he was too old to try!

Having said that, why wait till you are 40 years to start living your dreams? Why wait till 40 when you can start today? Yes, there are challenges today: the economy is rough, your uncles have failed you, and your neighbors are mocking right? But guess what? These people will still be there when you are 40! So get to it already.

These are 5 black people that have made their marks. Hope you find at least one that inspires you to action today.

  1. Martin Luther King: Born in 1929, Martin was a renowned orator, an American Baptist minister, humanitarian and leader in the African American civil rights movement. He faced hatred, protests and was eventually assassinated at the age of 39. But we don’t remember that! What people remember is his historic ‘I have a dream’ speech made at the young age of 34. People remember how he laid the foundation for black peoples’ freedom in America. It has been 46 years since his passing and he remains relevant today and forever. He left a legacy as one of the greatest orators in American history.


  1. Mohammed Ali is an all- time favorite. Born Cassius Clay, he started training at the tender age of 12 years. Little surprise he won the world heavyweight championship in 1964 at the age of 22. He will forever be remembered as the world’s greatest and left a bouquet of inspirational quotes. I dare say he was also one of the most confident people that ever lived. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have called himself the greatest! I’m sure if he was Nigerian, we wouldn’t dare in the fear of being labelled proud.

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  1. Michael Jackson: No black man’s list is complete without Michael! At the age of 24, he released his album Thriller. It is still a best-selling album of all time. It has been 34 years since the release of this album yet the music, dance and pop culture he created lives on. He is called the King of Pop for a good reason- 13 Grammy awards, Grammy life time achievement award, 26 American music awards and about 400 million records sales. He also invented the moonwalk!


  1. Chinua Achebe: Nigerian to the core, Chinua Achebe was a poet, critic, novelist and the author of the novel- Things fall apart at the age of 28! If you’ve not read this book, you are on a long thing! As it is the most widely read book in modern African literature.


  1. Simone Manuel: In the spirit of the Olympics, Simone Manuel is the 5th on our list. At the age of 20, she became the first black woman to win a swimming gold. This is a big deal. In winning the 100-meter freestyle, Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold in swimming.

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These 5 people have some things in common: Hard work, expertise, resilience and extreme passion for winning.  Try these too! Live now.



Picture credit: e online, blavity, ulibyclam, biography, shoe bat

Reference: africanleadershipblog

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