Sosoliso plane crash survivor gets standing ovation at America Got Talent

Arts, Culture and Sport

Kechi Okwuchi, Sosoliso plane crash survivor gets standing ovation at America’s Got Talent

America’s Got Talent was privileged to have Kechi Okwuchi grace its stage. The Nigerian, whose story inspired many, sang beautifully as well. After surviving a plane crash in 2005 that claimed the lives of 60 of her classmates, she stood before the world and sang her heart out. Her story has gone viral, and definitely more people will be rooting for her to win.



On December 10, 2005 a plane carrying 107 passengers crashed in Nigeria. Plane crashes hardly have survivors, but a miracle happened in the Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 and two passengers survived the horrific crash. It was a gloomy day in Nigeria, one of the most fatal air crashes never to be forgotten, but yet relived in 2012 when the Dana Air Flight 992 crashed with 153 passengers on board.

The Sosoliso flight carried 61 students from Loyola Jesuit College who were going home for holidays. One of its students, Kechi Okwuchi who was just 16 years old survived the plane crash and was in intensive care unit in a South African hospital for five weeks before moving to the Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston in  the United States in 2007 for further treatment.

Not many would have expected to see the survivor of a ghastly plane crash standing on the stage of America’s Got Talent show. Okwuchi who graduated top of her class with a degree in Economics is currently doing her Master’s degree. She studied at the University of Saint Thomas and competed to give the commencement speech, which she won.


She auditioned for America’s Got Talent on May 24 after her friend pushed her to explore her passion. Okwuchi’s passion for music played a huge role in her healing process. After singing Ed Sheeran’s Thinking out loud some members of the audience were moved to tears, many, including the judges gave her a standing ovation.

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Okwuchi gave a TedxEuston speech in 2015 titled “Girl know thyself” where she talked of what she remembered before the plane crash, and how she lost her close friend who sat beside her. Okwuchi has undergone over 100 surgeries and numerous skin grafts. This strong woman further pushed her fears away and took more challenges and dared to get on the America’s Got Talent stage.

Okwuchi’s phenomenal story leaves one with a lot of hope and encouragement. Her entire body was burnt during the crash. For her, December 10 gets more lucid as the memories become clearer always.

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Okwuchi’s story reminds Nigerians and Africans of the various air crashes that have plagued the aviation sector. Most importantly it tells the story of resilience hope and faith in God.

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