BY Azuka onye, 12:00am July 25, 2011,

Health Spotlight: Phobay Kutu-Akoi

Representing her native home, Liberia, track star and future Olympian Phobay Kutu-Akoi is no stranger to hard work. As she prepares for some of the most important track meets of her career she understands the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The F2FA health team sat down with Kutu-Akoi as she discussed the steps she is taking to achieve her goals as well as how important maintaining good health is to a successful future for Liberia.

What events will you be participating in? 

Kutu-Akoi: Well, I’m trying to qualify for the 100m in the 2012 Olympics in London.

F2FA: What is your favorite event?

Kutu-Akoi: My favorite event is the 60-mete, which is an indoor track event. It’s shorter. I’m more of an explosive athlete so with this event I get out of the blocks faster. For outdoor track, the Olympics is outdoor, my favorite event is the 100 meter.

F2FA: What steps are you taking to prepare physically and mentally for the Olympics?

Kutu-Akoi: Well, physically I am just trying to do all of the right things consistently. It’s like a lifestyle. I am just making it a lifestyle. I try to eat right, sleep right, and train harder. I’m Just taking it to the next level consistently. I’m pushing my body to the limit. It’s all mental.

Mentally I’m doing my best to stay relaxed. I like to meditate. If you’re calm mentally your body can do anything. That’s how I feel.

F2FA: What changes have you had to make to your diet and lifestyle?

Kutu-Akoi: I try to get all the good things in. No junk food. Of course, I slip up every now and then. Sometimes you have to reward yourself. You cant just go crazy and not reward yourself.I try to eat all of the good stuff like vegetables, wheat, protein and the good fat. Fat from foods like peanuts and cashews. I also try to hydrate a lot.

I look at my body as a car. If you put bad fuel in your car you’re going to get where you’re going but you’re going to get bad results. If you put good fuel in you’re car you will get premium results.

F2FA: What do you believe is the biggest health crisis facing African women?

Kutu-Akoi: Lack of awareness. Women in Africa don’t go to the doctor as often as they should. They wait until they get sick.

F2FA: To all of the little girls in Africa and around the world who would love to follow in your footsteps, what would be your best advice to them?

Kutu-Akoi: My best advice would be to work your hardest at whatever you want to be in life and whatever it is that you want to get out of life. It doesn’t matter your circumstance. All that matters is that you believe in you and that you are doing the best to make it happen. God will take care of the rest.

Athletically, whether you’re in basketball, soccer, or track, just go with it. Track will really open doors for you.  It can get you a free education; you get to go to college, learn and have fun.

F2FA: Liberia is one of very few countries in the world with a female president.  What do you think has been President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s greatest accomplishment as President of Liberia?

Kutu-Akoi: To me her greatest accomplishment was just being who she is: the first female president in Africa. In a continent that’s dominated by men she didn’t let that stop her. She let her qualifications speak for themselves and not her gender.

Reducing the national debt was also a very huge accomplishment because even if she’s not in power a year from now the country will still be in a better position to keep moving forward. She also made sure that all elementary education was free.

F2FA: If there were one thing you could change about the health policies and the way health is viewed in Liberia what it would be?

Kutu-Akoi: Free health care and mandatory check ups for everyone every year, for all people including those in the village. I want Africans to look at a trip to the doctor as a good thing.

Last Edited by: Updated: September 12, 2018


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