The Legend and How He Completes Our Story

How do People become legends?

and by the way, who is a legend?

The dictionary says he is a famous person, admired for his achievement in a particular area. Really, a legend defies definitions, technical or literary. He is an uncommon narrative; a fictional character made real by inventions that question standard theories in biology. The world births flesh and blood almost every second, the legends among them come once in a hundred years. The legendary status is a badge many of us seek to wear. But only few will be so privileged because rarity is what makes gold a precious metal. Legends are people of a generation who live many generations after. They are memories that refuse to fade through time and space.

There is no standard rule for identifying a legend. Who is one and who is not generates polemics and can whip as much sentiment as the debate on who is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Some people conduct polls to assess people’s opinions on who qualifies. Some others use objective criteria such as numbers: laurels won, songs produced, books written, goals scored, battles fought etc. In whatever area of endeavour or location a legend emerges from, common trends run through: character, consistency and commitment. Here are some of the things they do that make them so exceptional, so much that they seem to have been products of women with many wombs.


Who is one and who is not generates polemics and can whip as much sentiment as the debate on who is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi?

They live in a single world

Legends are not omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent.

They are men and women who live one life at a time. They are known for one single trade. But they take the trade so serious and do it so well that they seem to run thousands of hours between sunrise and sunset. They don’t struggle to find their call and in that call, they find a voice, loud and resonating. Wole Soyinka is not known beyond literature just as Serena Williams’ name straddles only the world of tennis. 

They are not men of many parts; they just do extraordinary things in ordinary vocations.

They shoot constantly

A legend leaves tens, hundreds, thousands of footprints on the sands of time.

He is seen several times before he runs the final course. Nobody becomes a music legend on a single album or a football history with a single match. Doing it several times makes it an art. Of course, not all shots hit targets. Near misses and off-days must happen to assure ordinary folks like us that legends are also human beings who can have bad seasons. 

But constant shots coalesce into a body of work and give scholars and historians enough materials to prove that the stars did enough to warrant a lifetime mention in the hall of fame.

They Recycle Spectacles

Legends recycle spectacles.

They give the world enough dramas to last for a thousand years. Spectacles make the world memorable because they are few bright spots in a world that is becoming a routine. From the football star that keeps scoring hattrick to the tennis queen that never stops winning grand slams or the tech whiz kid who has made invention of gadgets a stock in trade,

legends keep the show on and on to give us new experiences, several times over.

They Rewrite Rules

Legends reactivate fading traditions.

They come around to rewrite history by setting new standards. Legends write rules; other legends rewrite them. The world is a constantly changing place, it needs few people every now and then to help it make sense of fresh developments, 

many times negative: climate change, new epidemics, violence, globalisation etc.

They Rise when Others Sit

The world lives in teams but only few are the playmakers.

Few doubt it if there would have been a Messi without its Barcelona teammates but why do we usually need a Messi to remember that its Barcelona teammates are great midfielders and supporting attackers.

Legends simply refuse to sit when the rest of us do and by so doing, they awaken the giant in the team.

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