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Caster Semenya Recalls Having to Walk into a Change Room Naked to Prove She Was a Girl

The athlete says her gender used to be questioned growing up.

Caster Semenya isn't new to her gender being questioned and used against her. The athlete recently shared that even as youngster she had to sometimes prove she was a woman as her teammates struggled to compete against her. "They started questioning, are you really a girl? One day, I walked naked into the change room [to prove to them]," Semenya was quoted as saying by The Sowetan.


The athlete was speaking at the Standard Bank Top Women Conference held at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park in Johannesburg.

The athlete, who also revealed she used to be a soccer player, shared some of the reasons she is as strong and fast as she is. She said she grew up with boys and walked long distances to school. She added that she used to train on sand.

"I think my parents raised me well," Semenya said. "They have never questioned what I do, my feelings, how I see life. They accepted me for who I am. They could see that this one was a little bit different. I did not like being in the kitchen, but being in the garden. I just wanted to give you background why I am tough, why am I fearless, why I do not care about what other people think about me."

The Court of Arbitration for Sport recently ruled against Semenya in her case against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) forcing female athletes to regulate their testosterone levels.

Semenya, always resilient, was quoted in May of this year as saying after the ruling: "For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down. But this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world."

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Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.

Following Nelson Mandela's passing in December 2013, Kenneth Kaunda became Africa's last standing hero. Now with his passing on Thursday, June 17 — after being admitted to the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka earlier in the week — this signals the end of Africa's liberation history chapter.

It is tempting to make saints out of the departed. The former Zambian struggle hero did many great things. He was, after all, one of the giants of the continent's struggle against colonialism. Ultimately however, he was a human being. And as with all humans, he lived a complicated and colourful life.

Here are six facts you might not have known about him.

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