10 Jun Nigerian Plane Crash Survivor Kechi Okwuchi Wows on America’s Got Talent Stage
10, December 2005, a Port Harcourt bound Sosoliso Airlines flight from Abuja crashed on the runway claiming lives of many including 60 Loyola Jesuit College students. Kechi Okwuchi was one of only two survivors of the crash. 12 years on, she stands in front of Simon, the judges and millions of America’s Got Talent Show and belts out her rendition of Ed Sheeran’s Song ‘ Thinking Out Loud ‘
In an exchange with Simon, she talks about her music got her through her toughest times.
Kechi: My name is Kechi
Simon: where are you from?
Kechi: I’m from Nigeria but I live in Houston right now
Simon: Why America’s got talent?
Kechi: I want to share my voice with America’s Got Talent
Simon: so how many years have you been singing for?
Kechi: since I was about 7 or 8 but only very seriously about 12 years now
Simon: And what got you into singing ?
Kechi: well, I ( slight pause) was in a plane crash when I was 16 years old in Nigeria, it took the lives of 107 out of 109 people and I was one of the 2 survivors.
Simon: How do you actually deal with that?
Kechi: well, lying in the hospital bed with bandages all over from my head to my foot, not being able to do anything , music was my escape and that’s why it means so much to me.
At the end of her rendition, which obviously blew the judges and crowd, she was given a standing ovation. Kechi is one of the most inspiring people you will meet or read about in this generation. In spite of her set backs, she has gone on to graduate with a First Class degree from University of Thomas Houston, Texas on May 16th, 2015. She was inducted into 6 academic honour societies, was the most Outstanding student for her major in Economics and has already been accepted into graduate school for her MBA. She was also chosen to give the commencement speech to the class of 2015 at her school.
What is so inspiring is the bravery with which she has carried on since age 16; then a student of Loyola Jesuit College at the time, a boarding high school in Abuja. That accident claimed the life of her friend, Pastor Bimbo Adekoya and many more.
Kechi has had more than 100 surgeries, including skin grafts in the US as a result of the severe burns all over her body. Doctors placed pins to support her hands but this didn’t stop her from reaching for greatness.
I started watching this video with a eyes wide open shock and ended up with uncontrollable tears. I’m not crying out of pity for her but shame for all the days I wallowed in self pity for trivial things; the days I queried God for allowing me go through my struggles and how other people’s lives seemed to be more glorious than mine. I’ve survived a few surgeries in the past 3-4 years and I know how unpleasant they are but what do you say when a plane crash victim with about a hundred surgeries so far, stands in front of millions of viewers and sings her heart out? I’m not saying my struggles are less valid but some people are dealing with worse but are still making the most of it.
watch video below