Entrepreneurs in Africa

Freeman Osonuga, Nigerian Doctor Named as the First Black African to Travel to Space.

Freeman Osonuga, Nigerian Doctor Named as the First Black African to Travel to Space.

“If a young person from a poor and disadvantaged background like me can be among the 30 short-listed finalists and eventually go to space, truly, nothing is impossible to those that believe”

Credit: www.dailytrust.com.ng

Credit: www.dailytrust.com.ng

Freeman Osonuga dreamt, believed and achieved!

Today, several news headlines are buzzing with his name as one of the three exceptional applicants who have been selected from a list of 30 to travel into Space.

It is indeed rewarding for anyone to live the African dream, to believe in the beauty and magnificence of this great continent and to be a major part of her rising.

Yes, everyone can be part, if they can, like Freeman, dream, take action and believe.

Freeman, a graduate of Medicine and Surgery from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, hails from Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State.

He was selected through the Rising Star programme, which was launched at the One Young World Summit 2014 in Dublin. The programme invited both One Young World Ambassadors and outstanding members of the public aged 18-35, irrespective of their skill set to nominate themselves to take on the trip of a lifetime, which is hoped to accelerate the chosen applicant’s success by connecting them with some of the world’s most accomplished influencers.

Credit: uk.linkedin.com

Credit: uk.linkedin.com

Anyone selected for the programme will not only embark on a once in a lifetime flight into space but will also be offered a three-year management contract.

Freeman is a WIRED 2015 Innovation Fellow, an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a One Young World Ambassador and Founder & Executive Director, Heal The World Foundation Nigeria, a not for profit organization with the vision to help the helpless and a mission to provide support for the health, welfare and  education of the underprivileged and the physically challenged.

At the height of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, he worked for 6 months with the Medical Humanitarian Mission to Sierra Leone as part of African Union’s Ebola Response Team, for which he received a Meritorious Service Award from President Bai Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone. He is also a 2014 TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year and one of the 2013 Ten Outstanding Young Persons In Nigeria.

Despite the huge international attention directed to him these days, Freeman isn’t quick to forget his lowly beginnings and so he speaks up for the voiceless at every opportunity. In one of his article’s titled “The Rights of the Down Trodden.” Which was published by huffingtonpost.com on 7 September, 2014, he makes a case for the common man:-

“… And the onus is upon government at all levels to take up their responsibility of providing adequately for the welfare of people out there on the streets who can’t provide for themselves and also to defend those who are constantly being abused. A government is constituted to protect the rights of people.”

Credit: www.businessinsider.com

Credit: www.businessinsider.com

Though excited about the huge feat that he has achieved and the rare opportunity to be named a space traveller, Freeman has a more important mission…

“… I’m about to embark on a mission to space. The mission to space is to enable me to embark on a global climate care advocacy programme, so as to be able to save the world from the impending danger of climate change. Presently, the earth resources are being deserted in ways that are not sustainable; climate change is an emergency that we all have to embark on.

From Ebola Street to Space Street my mission to save the world continues.”

Speaking about his achievement as one who made the shortlist to change the African narrative, Freeman echoes his belief that nothing is impossible to anyone that believes.

 “With faith, hope and perseverance, every young person can fulfil their dreams irrespective of colour, tribe, nation, sex, background and ethnicity.”

Next month, he will be speaking live on stage at the WIRED 2015 in London.

Impossible is nothing, if you believe in the beauty of your dreams and work courageously to achieve all your heart earnestly yearns for.

DREAM, BELIEVE AND ACHIEVE!

Lovelyn Okafor

September 2nd, 2015

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