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Rising From The Ashes: Learning from the Kechi Story

Kechi Okwuchi | The GoodNews Media

From the Editor:

Positive Thoughts is a new column on the GoodNews Media website where we intend to share some good thoughts with our readers based on the good news we share or find elsewhere. This column is meant to keep us positive and give us some inspiration every week. Our new columnist, Khemmie Ray, will be sharing her positive thoughts with you regularly. Please give us some feedback in the comments section. Enjoy!


“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

– Confucius

I’ve heard people say life deals hard blows and they are just tired of fighting so they settle.  Settle for mediocrity, obscurity or the mentality of just getting by. They quit on their dreams believing that will save them less heartaches, they shorten their perspectives refusing to see beyond their present circumstances to what they could actually become if they work at it. They choose to stand by the shores and ask the waves ‘why?’ – while others swim against the tides of obstacles and challenges.

Life, they say, is about playing the hands you have been dealt and that’s exactly what Kechi Okwuchi – a young lady whose life suffered a drastic change when she became one of two survivors of the 2005 Sosoliso plane crash in Nigeria – did.

As at the time of her accident Kechi was a sixteen year old student of Loyola Jesuit College,  Abuja, Nigeria and was returning home to Port Harcourt with 60 other students for the Christmas holiday when tragedy struck. She survived the crash with third degree burns to 65 percent parts of her body. Kechi had to undergo hundreds of surgeries but through it all she found hope and solace – this she’s using as a powerful healing voice motivating others to find the beauty in living.

One would have thought someone like Kechi, who had such a traumatic experience, would avoid the spotlight like a plague and opt for seclusion but she did the opposite. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Thomas, Houston, Texas and was inducted into 6 academic honour societies as the most outstanding student for her major in Economics despite being out of school for five years. She also capped her graduation with a speech during her commencement ceremony.

Kechi didn’t stop there but went further to perform a heart stopping, emotion popping, intriguing and breath taking rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” during the audition of America’s Got Talent in June. This performance earned her a standing ovation not only from the audience but also from the judges.

Now, she is sharing her beautiful voice with the world on the America’s Got Talent stage, because, as she said during her audition, “Lying in the hospital bed, bandaged head to foot, not being able to move or do anything else, music was my escape. That’s why it means so much to me… What happened to me was horrible. But I refuse to let it define me. Instead, I draw strength from it.”

This traumatizing experience hasn’t stopped her from living her best life and she’s living it imprinting the story of her dauntless courage in our hearts to inspire us not to freeze up and quit because life happened. Rather, she inspires us to see life as a banquet in which we can make the most of every circumstances presented before us and triumph or we could walk around it with a chronic case of indigestion having a “poor old me”. Kechi moved higher and rose steadily, taking the world by storm.

Her story of courage, hope, kindness, and triumph reminds us never to quit or give up but to keep dreaming bigger to keep aiming higher. Like a quote said, “if you get tired, rest, but never quit.”

Did you learn any other lesson from the Kechi story? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments.


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Khemmie Ray
A passionate writer whose world revolves around arts and aesthetics.

One thought on “Rising From The Ashes: Learning from the Kechi Story

  1. Amazing story and good thoughts shared. Truth is that, no matter how bad you’ve had it, someone has it worse than you. So we always have to make the best of what we’ve got. Never give up on your dreams. You never know when the opportunity will come.

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