Muhammad Ali is the boxing legend who shook his generation and changed what it meant to be black, bold and fearless.
After a three decade-long battle with Parkinson’s disease, he passed away on Friday at the age of 74. Since then, people have used social media platforms to share tweets, images and videos mourning his loss and celebrating a life well spent.
Aside from his important commentary on racial dynamics in the United States, Muhammad Ali also crucially embodied the meaning of Pan-Africanism, using his voice and platform to speak up in defense of African nations, show pride in his African heritage and identify himself as an African.
He has been described in this article as the first true “African” American. He was a source of inspiration to Africans across the continent. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Nelson Mandela Foundation has, since Mandela’s death, acknowledged Muhammad Ali as the late leader’s “hero.”
For Africans across the globe, his death is personal. As we mourn his passing, we take comfort in the indelible marks he’s left upon our hearts and the world at large.
Here are some tweets from African writers mourning the loss of the much-loved and revered icon:
And here are a few tweets insisting on an accurate representation of his legacy:
Muhammad Ali will never be forgotten. May his soul Rest in Peace.