Space travel is a common limit on what the mind can envision to be human endeavour. Only a few handfuls of people in the past generations the planet from this perspective.
30 year-old Freeman Osonuga may soon become one of these people. The Medicine and Surgery graduate, who also co-founded an organisation for the physically handicapped and actively blogs, was shortlisted through the Rising Star programme at the One Young World Summit 2014 in Dublin and could become the first Nigerian in space.
He recently expressed his excitement in an interview with Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper.
“I cannot wait to go to space. It is an opportunity of a lifetime. If 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.”
He is one of 30 shortlistees who will be flown to Bangkok in November. From this group, a Rising Star will be chosen.
While in university he, together with some friends, co-founded Heal The World Foundation Nigeria which has, according to the website, “…made a positive difference in the lives of some 500 children with disabilities and more than 50 orphans”.
He has also blogged about his experiences as a volunteer during last year’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He is a 2014 TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year” and one of the 2013 “Ten Outstanding Young Persons In Nigeria”.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-amEVRiXU8