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From Sempach to Udogu: A Fufu-Fueled Triumph in Schwingen

Sempach, Wenger, Glarner or Stucki! Names that a typical Swiss person immediately relates to Schwingen, the Swiss Wrestling sport. However, a new name, Udogu, may soon join the ranks of these typical Swiss family names that have historically dominated the competitions. With Uche's first win in a Schwingen competition and Chijioke's consecutive recognition, our name has begun to appear in newspaper headlines. This achievement carries weight beyond the sport—it symbolizes the remarkable beauty of diversity and acceptance.



Schlussgang: The Triumph of the Underdog

After five rounds, with only one loss, Uche made it to the final round at the last week's Bruederschwingen. In the electric atmosphere of the Schlussgang, it felt as if time had come to a standstill. My heart pounded with both excitement and nervous anticipation. All eyes were fixed upon Uche as he prepared for his last bout. Despite the odds stacked against him—having lost to his final opponent in the first round - Uche's determination and skill took centre stage.

"the sprinke of fufu-fueled energy"

Then, against all expectations, Uche emerged victorious after only a few seconds! The applause that filled the arena when his opponent's shoulders touched the ground validated the triumph of an underdog who defied all odds. I was filled with pride and joy as Uche's teammates hoisted him high, an honour traditionally reserved for the winner and a powerful symbol of his acceptance within the realm of the sport.



Despite their training journey starting just a few months ago, Uche and Chijioke have displayed remarkable skill and unwavering determination. Their rapid progress has us pondering the potential connection to their secret weapon: the pre-competition consumption of Fufu. As many Igbo people believe in its ability to provide an extra boost of power, the boys wholeheartedly embraced this cultural practice. In fact, they went a step further and requested for ofe Okra, a traditional Igbo dish, the night before the competition. This infusion of cultural tradition and belief surely fueled their performance, adding a touch of Igbo magic to their journey. The combination of training, dedication, and the sprinkle of fufu-fueled energy has undoubtedly played a significant role in their well-deserved success.


"Their skin colour made them visibly different, and their uniquely Igbo names posed pronunciation challenges for many. "

Transcending Cultural Boundaries

But Uche's triumph in Schwingen is more than just a sporting accomplishment. Coming from a mixed cultural background, we were initially insecure about how our sons would be received in a sport that is quintessentially Swiss, typically engaged in by locals only. Their skin colour made them visibly different, and their uniquely Igbo names posed pronunciation challenges for many.



However, since Uche and Chijioke joined the team, they have been warmly embraced, quickly becoming crowd favourites during the tournament. This experience powerfully underscored the truth that our anxieties about discrimination are often nothing more than self-imposed stereotypes. In fact, the fear of stereotypes itself proved to be a stereotype, as the genuine acceptance and support they received shattered our preconceived notions.




"Challenging stereotypes actively fosters inclusivity"

Embracing Diversity and Championing Unity:

As a proud mother, I raise a heartfelt toast to my sons and their fellow Schwingen athletes! Their journey serves as a constant reminder to embrace diversity, persistently break down barriers, and wholeheartedly celebrate the beauty of unity in all its forms. It strengthens my conviction that shared passions hold the key to transcending cultural disparities while reassuring me that challenging stereotypes actively fosters inclusivity.


Last but not least


I decided always to end my blog posts with an Igbo proverb or quote and a song (not necessarily Igbo) that speaks to my heart. Feel free to share your favourite proverbs or a song you are currently listening to!


Igbo quote of the week: "Ezi aha ka ego." A good name is better than riches.


My song this week: "Imela Chineke" by Chioma Jesus




Disclaimer


This blog is neither scientific research nor a social study; instead, it is written with much appreciation for the Igbo culture, from the subjective perspective of the author, based on personal experience. Generalizations must be read with care, as no truth is true for everyone. And most importantly, this blog is to be read with a smile and a pinch of salt (or pepper in this context)



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