Kechi Okwuchi had the talk “Girls- know thyself,” in December 2015, but it didn’t start going viral until after her captivating rendition at America’s Got Talent show, .
Kechi Okwuchi is an Economics graduate of the University of St. Thomas where she was the student speaker at the 2015 Commencement Ceremony.
She moved to the United States of America in 2007 for reconstructive surgery after surviving the Sosoliso plane crash in Nigeria of December 10, 2005, a crash that killed amongst others, 60 of Kechi’s schoolmates from Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja who were flying home for the Christmas holidays.
Her life story as a plane crash survivor, suffering many setbacks, having over 100 surgeries, and graduating magna cum laude from college is phenomenal.
Despite all she went through, Kechi said she never allowed her scars define her, however, she gives that to her family who has been very supportive.
I feel like when we were born, God gives us all these paths before us but a lot of times, society and our families can tend to close up some of these paths even though they mean well. But just imagine if every young person, every young girl was given the freedom to explore her true passions without the burden of expectation or direction, I feel like a new different society will definitely emerge.
If every young person was able to go out there and use their full potential, society will definitely thrive. And I’ve seen a lot of progress in this.
There’s this childhood friend I have, we grew up in Aba and then her mom called my mom and was telling her about their daughter wanting to study filmmaking in college and they told her, “Ok, that’s great. Go and get a real degree first and then, we’ll talk.”
So my friend went, got a long degree, then apparently she came home, flung the certificate into her parent’s face and was like, “oya, take your law degree. Can I go and do filmmaking now?”
See what happened here, rather than telling their daughter, “which nonsense filmmaking, I’m not going to pay for that filmmaking nonsense,” they tried to meet her halfway and told her, “Ok, get a fallback degree and then you can go ahead and pursue your less conventional passions.”
And from a parent’s point of view, I can actually understand that because parents want their kids to be happy. They want them to have stability, to make money and to be happy. But a lot of times, those three things don’t always go hand-in-hand and the society at times, focus on the first two and forgets how important happiness truly is.
And I feel like this really tightens well with the whole vision of the real thing because it’s passion that gives rise to your vision that you have for your life and if you’re allowed to explore those visions and explore those passions, then the change will be so substantial.
Personally for me, when it comes to knowing myself, applying my vision to myself and making it something that’s real, it has been an obstacle so far, but my way has been to rely solely on God. I’m not saying that being a Christian is the only way to know who you are, I’m just saying that’s my way, personally.
My faith is an integral part of me, and I try to include God in every single part of my life and in every decision I make. And more so, after the accident for obvious reasons.
I’ve always felt like my family has been that backbone helping me to grow whenever I get lost or confused about something. I get confused a lot because the Bible can be confusing s I need lots of guidance when it comes to that.
My family is always there and I feel like God really gave me my family because he knew the kind of obstacle I would face in my life one day. But because of them, I’ve never felt the need to conform, I’ve never felt like I need to make decisions based on my physical appearance, I’ve never felt like my scars define me and I’ve never felt like anything I have to do will be dependent on what I look like.
I make decisions on what I like, who I am, what I believe and never in what I look like and that’s how I’ve been doing things and I really owe that to my family and I thank God for the kind of family he gave me.
I pray that wherever young people find themselves in Nigeria or otherwise, they will be able to one day explore their own passions.
They are able to be free to pursue those talents that they have within them and find themselves while finding their vision.