When you face an enormous struggle, you’re faced with a choice: do you wither away and let your life drift past you, or do you grab it by the horns and make the best of what you’ve got.
It’s those who fall into the second category that inspires us. And Kechi Okwuchi has been an inspiration to millions of people around the world.
On December 10, 2005, Kechi Okwuchi’s life gets changed forever more. At just 16 years of age, she was traveling on Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 when it crashed, killing 107 people on board. Remarkably, two people survived, including Okwuchi. But she suffered extensive burns that covered a massive 65% of her body.
Surviving such dreadful wounds is unusual, but Okuchi survived the ordeal. But the depression that accompanied her now permanently altered appearance took her through dark hours.
Okuchi had lost many friends in the plane crash and sustained severe injuries. Because of this, she was forced to undergo many surgeries. These took a toll on her, and her depression grew.
But there was one thing that kept the young woman going and that was music. While she was recovering from her surgeries, she began singing. The joy of music and using her voice helped to restore her self-confidence and zest for life. And what a voice it is!
Okwuchi spent a few years working as a motivational speaker, telling of her remarkable story of survival. But she soon decided to share her singing with others. She had a hankering to perform for big crowds so, in 2017, she entered America’s Got Talent.
Her emotional performance of “Thinking Out Loud” ensured support from around the nation and praise from all of the judges, even the notoriously difficult to please, Simon Cowell who even poignantly said: “If you just believe in yourself a little bit more, there’s more than even you know that I think you’re capable of.”
Although she didn’t win the competition at that time, the crusading survivor wasn’t finished yet.
In 2019, Okwuchi has invited back to America’s Got Talent: The Champions. That season, the best performers from each previous season were pitted against each other to win the most coveted title of the most talented person in America.
Again, Okwuchi gave it to her all with a beautiful performance of Callum Scott’s “You Are The Reason.” Of all the teary-eyed judges, it was Simon who smashed the gold buzzer in response to her golden voice.
For the second round, Okwuchi was back with yet another emotional number, this time “Opportunity” from the film, Annie. She again captivated both the audience and the judges.
Even though she did not win the competition, she has inspired so many millions with her courage, her outstanding voice, and her message.
“Life can change in, like, a second,” said Okwuchi, “and if you’re lucky, it can change for the better.”