The name Yotam Muleya, is popular in Zambia, especially in Lusaka. Schools have been named after this name, but, why is this name popular?
Here is something you may not know and wish to know about this man
He broke the racial barriers and opened a new era in Rhodesian Sport in the 1950s.
Today we shine a light on Yotam Muleya, a long distance runner who represented Northern Rhodesia (Now Zambia), and Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
– Full names: Yotam Siachobe Muleya
– Year born: 1940, Mudukula Village, Choma District
– Nationality: Zambian
– Occupation: Runner
– Died: 23 November 1959, United States, in a car accident.
– Yotam went to Mudukula primary school and was a runner from an early age often racing the village dogs.
– After he completed his primary education, Muleya proceeded to Munali Secondary school in Lusaka. He then qualified to Hodgson Training School where he enrolled as an apprentice motor vehicle mechanic in early 1958.
– In 1958, Muleya broke the racial barriers and opened a new era in Rhodesian Sport when he beat the famous British four minute miler, Gordon Pirie, by 100 yards in three-mile race at Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia.
– It was in Hodgson that Muleya’s career took off, when he set a Northern Rhodesia and Federal record of 14:57.2 in the 3 mile event on 27 May 1958.
– However, his skin color almost saw him being barred by South Africa-born William Dubois, a dedicated white supremacist who served as a chairman of the Southern Rhodesian Amateur Athletic and Cycling Union.
– But that didn’t stop him, he became an instant hero as joyful spectators, black and white alike; bore him from the track in triumph on their shoulders, with one white tobacco farmer stating: “He may be black, but, by God, he’s Rhodesian.
– Muyelya did more for good race relations in under a quarter of an hour than hundred of twittering interracialists have achieved in the last five years. His victory was reported in the popular American Magazine sports illustrated as making “a nice crack in Rhodesia’s grim racial barrier.
– Yotam Muleya died in 1959 in Michigan, United States, and his remains were transported back to his home town where he was buried.
– Yotham Muleya Road and Yotham Muleya Primary School in Lusaka were named after Muleya.