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Get to Know Julius Yego, Kenya's Self-Taught Olympic Javelin-Thrower Dubbed ‘The Youtube Man’

Despite not having a coach or training facilities, Yego is competing for gold in men’s javelin throwing on August 17 in Rio.

Who knew you could learn how to become an Olympian by watching Youtube videos?


That’s the hack Kenyan Olympic javelin-throwing-phenom Julian Yego of Kenya’s Cheptonon village used to excel at the sport that entails throwing a spear long-distance. It has earned him the nickname, “The Youtube Man” throughout Kenya. In 2015, Yego took home a gold medal at the world championships after launching a javelin 92 meters— that’s an impressive 301 feet. He’s also the first Kenyan to qualify for a field event at the Olympics, and a two-time All African Games champion. In 2012 at the latter sporting event, Yego catapulted a javelin 81.81 meters (265 feet), making history as the first Kenyan and African to have ever achieved such a feat.

However, behind every success story is a set of obstacles that has to be overcome. He first discovered javelin-throwing, which he says flows in his blood, at the village primary school located five miles from his home. Yego started competing there, forming makeshift javelins from branches removed from nearby trees.

Yego’s father was less than pleased when he learned his son had picked up the sport. “He wanted me to pursue education,” the Olympian says in the autobiographical video below. “I used to not tell him that I’m going for competition.”

In addition to his father’s disapproval that he was placing his javelin career over his education, Yego didn’t have a coach in Kenya or a javelin facility where he could train. Determined to continue his training in the track and field event, the future-Olympian turned to Youtube. “I would go to the cyber [cafe], look at the great javelin throwers, see what they do in their normal

in their normal training, and I would come and practice the following day.”

And the 27-year-old Kenyan’s road to Rio has been made rocky as he learned recently that his coach won’t be present until the day before he competes for gold in men’s javelin throw on August 17. A week ago, Yego alleged he’s a victim of sabotage on Facebook.

Yego will have to lean on his humble beginnings to achieve his Olympic dreams, but they're well within his grasp.

Watch the incredible story of “The Youtube Man” below:

Music
(Youtube)

9 Must-Hear Songs From Ghana's Buzzing Drill Scene

We give you the rundown on Ghana's drill movement, Asakaa, and the most popular songs birthed by it.

Red bandanas, streetwear, security dogs, and gang signs. If you've been paying any attention to the music scene in Ghana over the past few months, then by now you would have noticed the rise of a special hip-hop movement. The movement is called Asakaa, and it's the Ghanaian take on the Chicago-born subgenre of hip-hop called drill music. It's fresh, it's hot, it's invigorating and it's nothing like anything you've seen before from this part of the world.

The pioneers of Asakaa are fondly referred to by the genre's patrons as the Kumerica boys, a set of budding young rappers based in the city of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. They came into the limelight towards the end of 2020, and have been dropping banger after banger since then, topping several charts and racking up millions of views collectively. The rap is charismatic, the visuals are captivating, and their swag is urban. Characterized by Twi lyrics, infectious hooks, and sinister beats, the allure and appeal of both their art and their culture is overflowing.

"Sore," one of the benchmark songs of the movement, is a monster hit that exploded into the limelight, earning Kumerican rapper Yaw Tog a feature on Billboard Italy and a recent remix that featured Stormzy. "Ekorso" by Kofi Jamar is the song that took over Ghana's December 2020, with the video currently sitting at 1.3 million views on YouTube. "Off White Flow" is the song that earned rapper Kwaku DMC and his peers a feature on Virgil Abloh's Apple Music show Televised Radio. These are just a few examples of the numerous accolades that the songs birthed from the Asakaa movement have earned. Ghana's drill scene is the new cool, but it isn't just a trend. It's an entire movement, and it's here to stay.

Want to get familiar? Here we highlight the most prominent songs of the Asakaa movement that you need to know. Here's our rundown of Ghana's drill songs that are making waves right now. Check them out below.

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