First Black African that will travel to space soon is a Nigerian

First African that will travel to space soon is a Nigerian
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Meet young man who could be first Nigerian in space
Freeman Osonuga

Daily trust had an interview with the man who is about to travel out of earth.
Freeman Osonuga, 30, is a Medicine and Surgery graduate who was selected through a programme called Rising Star at the widely-reported One Young World Summit 2014 in Dublin, to embark upon a once-in-a-lifetime trip to space, which will make him the first black African to do so. Daily Trust chatted him up.

Daily Trust: WM: How does it feel to be shortlisted for a trip into space?
Freeman Osonuga
: It feels very great. I cannot wait to go to space. It is an opportunity of a lifetime. I f I do, I will be the first black African and Nigerian to be in space. That’s just a part of it. Succeeding would help me do more humanitarian work, to solve more problems/needs on a very large scale.
I also believe that going to space, considering my background, will inspire millions of African children from similar backgrounds to achieve their dreams. It will also put Nigeria in a positive light again and help change the world’s perception of Nigeria. 


DT: You have a foundation. Can you please tell us about it?
Osonuga:
I started it when I was a medical student back in 2010. There are a lot of people in our environment with one disability or the other. We know that the social services in Nigeria for the poor are nonexistent, with no assistance from the government. I felt we could not keep waiting for the government to do something about the situation, so I reached out to friends and colleagues and friends and we started Heal the World Foundation Nigeria. Basically what we do is to support children with disabilities, orphans and the less-privileged.
Though young  and still in school, we sacrificed our pocket money, clothes, food and things we had to start the foundation. We knew that we did not need to have a lot to meet someone’s need.

DT: How was your own childhood like?
Osonuga: 
Though I came from a humble background, it was interesting. I played like any other child, enjoying football and sand castles. I’d say it was fun.
DT: How about school, were you a nerd?
Osonuga:
  Yes I was (laughter). I was one of the best students in my set at Olabisi Onabanjo University. I was a Senior Prefect in Secondary School, Adetola Odutola College, Ijebu-Ode.

DT: Being a medical doctor, blogging and running a charity foundation sound tough. How have you managed all these responsibilities?
Osonuga: 
I started as an under graduate and I understand that my life is more than. I prefer to be introduced as a humanitarian, because I derive pleasure in helping the less-privileged.  If there is something you want to do, you find a way of doing it.

DT: You have written a lot of articles about your life experiences. Which has been the most touching and memorable?
Osonuga:
I think it has to be the one on my experience volunteering during the Ebola outbreak. Volunteering to treat it is a very risky thing to do. My second would be my visiting some schools of children with disability, orphanages, see some people living in some very extreme poverty situations. 

DT: How was your experience like fighting against Ebola?
Osonuga:
Like I said earlier, it was a very risky thing to do. I was with the case management team, treating the Ebola patients directly. We did very well and saved lives. Our treatment centre had a success rate of 65%.
The fear of losing my life was there at all times. But I always comforted myself with the proverb that states ‘he that is deep inside the river does not complain of cold’. I am already there; I just have to do what I am meant to do.

DT: Do you have any advice for fellow youths?
Osonuga
: My advice for young people is to dream and dream big. You don’t owe anybody an apology to fulfil your dreams. Dream big, pursue it and give it your best shot.
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