Nigerian Plane crash Survivor is Finalist at America Got talent

2 02 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

  She survived a plane crash, graduated with honors, is an accomplished singer and now a finalist at the American Got Talent show. The inspirational story of Kechi Okwuchi.

She was only 13 when the unthinkable happened. On December 10, 2005, she and 60 of her classmates from Loyola Jesuit College Abuja, where heading home to PortHarcort for the holidays in Sosoliso Airline, Flight 1145.

In an aisle seat next to her close friend, Kechi suddenly felt something was wrong.

“We are going down way too fast,” She said to her friend in alarm.

Her friend didn’t have time to reply before other passengers started screaming. Gripping her friends hand tightly, she cried, “Let us pray.”

But before they could start, there was a loud bang and the next thing she remembered was waking up in Milpark Hospital, South Africa.

The plane, carrying 109 people, slammed into the ground and burst into flames. She was one of only two survivors and spent up to five weeks in coma. Worse, when she woke up, she was unable to recognize herself. 65 percent of her body was covered with hideous scars that turned her beautiful face into a frightful visage.

Throughout the many months she spent in the hospital, undergoing numerous surgeries, she had ample time to pray, seeking to understand why God permitted her to live through this most horrible tragedy.

“There’s truly nothing like prayer,” she said. “It reinforces faith, which gives you courage. It calms you when things get really hard to deal with. If there’s one thing I learned through this experience, it’s the value of faith.”

Though prayers, God restored her determination to survive and even follow her dreams. She enrolled and graduated summa cum laude in 2015 from University of St. Thomas in the United States.

In her graduation speech, Kechi explained that she was motivated by a desire to live for others, to be in some way a consolation to the relatives and friends all who lost loved ones. And that she is striving to make her life a gift to all, especially the bereaved parents of her friends.

“To me, this degree is not just a degree.” she said, “It is a gift to the 60 students that died in a plane crash I was in 10 years ago. It represents the fulfillment of a promise I made—to those students and their parents—that I would reach this important milestone on behalf of those they lost.”

She is currently pursuing her M.B.A and a career in singing; singing being one passion that brings her joy. In 2017, unknown to her, a friend had enlisted her to take part in the twelfth season of America’s Got Talent as a singer. She went on to participate and finished the competition as a finalist.

This year again, she enlisted and when judge Simon Cowell asked, “Why America’s Got Talent?”

 “I want to share my voice,” she replied.

The 27-year-old then went on to share a story of survival, hope, and unshakable faith.

That story and her rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” brought the audience and judges to their feet and Simon Cowell gave her the golden buzzer, sending her straight to the final social media went wild with excitement.

Those who think life has treated them unfairly and have succumbed to a despondent bitterness should take a cue from this courageous young woman and pick themselves up from the floor where life has flung them, begin again, find some God given talents which perhaps they have let die and share with others, just like Kechi is sharing her voice with the world.

Yet, it must be hard to have a face that looks so hideous, and Kechi must weep daily for her lost beauty even as many social media platforms, mainstream media, and Hollywood, push so much false narratives that exalt sex appeal as vital to women’s success, and many young women cave in to the pressure, starving and cutting their bodies to look like the paint brushed supermodels they see on the cover of glossy magazines.

Kechi’s story calls out to the young. Interior beauty endures long after bodily beauty is gone.  Diligence and courage in the face of difficulties, acceptance of the trial that come our way are the true goods.

As supermodel, Cameron Russell said, Looks aren’t everything. And anyone who says different is lying.

Today, Kechi Okwuchi is also a public speaker who gives talks on TEDxEuston, witnessing to the public what God has done for her, for in the midst of her suffering, she had found Jesus, she had found joy.





An African gift to a Danish woman

24 01 2019

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

Danish woman social worker who fed and gave new life to a Nigerian child left for dead by his family because they thought he was a witch is herself rewarded with a new life.

In 2016, a Danish woman, Anja Ringgren Lovena, a social worker, found a toddler, emaciated and riddled with worms wandering the streets of Akwa-Ibom, he was naked and fending for himself.


She bent down and gently fed the boy and gave him some water, later she wrapped him in a blanket and with the help of her team took him to a hospital where he was given medications to remove the worms from his stomach and given daily blood transfusions till he was stable enough. She then took him home, washed, cleaned, fed, clothed him and called him Hope.

Pictures she shared of her feeding the starving boy broke the internet and the hearts of many the world over; and she received more than a million dollars in donations. A few months later she posted pictures of the fully recovered boy looking healthy and robust. Again, the pictures went viral and she became a celebrity, but more important, her life was changed forever.

The boy Hope had brought hope back into her own life.

“I have been looking to find meaning in my life,” said Anja, who grew up in a loving home, where her Mom worked with elderly people and thought her how to care and love other people. Her mom often told her stories of African children starving, and as a young woman she became very fascinated with Africa.

At 23, her mother’s death from cancer shattered her life. Distraught, she began looking to find meaning in her life, and decided to come to Africa.

 She founded an organization for children in 2012 in Malawi but opted for Nigeria when she stumbled across online articles about children killed after being accused of witch craft in Nigeria.

“When I found out that so many innocent children in the Niger Delta Region were tortured and killed due to superstition and the belief in witchcraft, I was in total shock,” said Anja, “it really made me so sick to my bones. How could anyone do this to children?”

From then on nothing could stop her from coming to Nigeria. Children needed help

 In Nigeria, in 2013, she met and fell in love with David Umen, a social worker and a law student; together they formed a team and built a children center.

She and David had been on many rescue missions, in obscurity, unclaimed until that fateful morning of 30th January 2016, when she found Hope, a most precious gift clothed in distressing disguise. Hope made her famous.

Now she has 100,000 followers on instagram, more than 150,000 Facebook followers, and millions across the globe who, admiring her generous heart, wish to be better.




On that January morning when she first looked into Hope’s frightfully hungry eyes, she saw with crystal clarity, what many Danish people  or Americans or European can’t see, and therefore can’t understand or even imagine exists.

She grasped that unless she helped them see what she was seeing with her eyes, through the lens of her camera, many will continue drifting aimlessly, chasing shadows and fleeting pleasures, unaware of that inner call to dedicate themselves to something greater than them.

Her pictures shattered the comfortable selfish lives of millions, and raised consciences long dead; and as she extended her hands to feed that little starving child, many satiated stomachs whose hands never extended to feed any other but themselves quivered uneasily knowing they could be better, they could contribute something, they could share some of their bread with those who have naught.

When she saw the starving child, she acted like a human being and became an inspiration for millions,” says the editor of German-language Ooom Magazine that listed Anja as the most influential person of the year 2016.

 “Her sustained efforts to help the abandoned children of Nigeria gives us hope and encourages us to follow suit.”

Africa has given Anja a gift, a return to humanity now lost to many of her folks bent on killing their children through abortions. Abortion is fully legal in Denmark, done on-demand up to twelfth week. A super rich country like the United States killed more than 45 million children via abortion since the 70’s, and just this week, New York legalized abortions until birth for any reason whatsoever!

Africans are ignorant, backward and poor; no doubt and in their ignorance, kill children. Yet, they are excusable precisely because they are poor, ignorant and backward.

More shocking and inexcusable are the acts of nations and peoples, highly educated, highly progressive, and super rich who kill unborn children as a right and a privilege. According to Mother Theresa of Calcutta, “Any country that accepts abortion is the poorest of the poor.”

“Many people are concerned with children of India, with the children of Africa,” continues Mother Theresa.  “These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is the greatest destroyer of peace today- abortion which brings people to such blindness.”

Unlike African blindness, easy to cure with education and bread, European blindness is complicated and requires a complete surgery to right their crocked world view filled with anti-human ideologies of trans-genderism, of homosexuality and atheistic anti-life policies.

Africa has given Anja a home to welcome as many witch-children as her heart desires; Africa has also given her a gift of love in return: Emmanuel, her handsome husband, has filled her heart with joy of life and a gift of her own very son whom she cherishes more than life itself.

By extension, Anja’s action encourages all Nigerians to rise and uproot this evil superstition killing children and do more to help others; there is a joy that the world cannot give that comes from helping others, and as the end of life approaches, perhaps those acts of charity are the only things that will endure; for it is simply true that when we help others, we become better.





Angel Priest

21 01 2019

It was a pleasant surprise when the relentless fog of bad media enveloping on Catholic priesthood was momentarily lifted by a bright ray of sunshine. In August 4, 2013, a young woman, Katie Lentz was trapped inside her crushed Mercedes Benz rammed by a drunken truck driver. Her life was slowly ebbing away. The rescue workers huffed and puffed as they cut and drilled trying to free her, but were getting nowhere. They were about to give up when a priest appeared and asked the sheriff if a priest was needed. He was carrying a bottle of anointing oil. The sheriff said yes and the priest knelt by the wrecked car and started talking with the young woman inside. She asked him to pray that her leg stops hurting. He did so.  She asked him to pray aloud, he did and absolved her from her sins, anointed her with oil”

He then stepped aside to allow the workmen continue their jobs.

Shortly after, things began to work and the workmen cut and pulled the woman out of the wreck. She was immediately flown to a hospital and survived. When they turned to thank the priest, he was nowhere to be found.

The workmen where unanimous, a miracle had occurred. They all agreed that the priest’s prayers helped pull this off. The officials at the scene said it seemed he appeared from nowhere, and he couldn’t be found in any pictures taken at the scene and left without anyone seeing where he went.

She survived but, for days, no one could figure out who the priest was, and the media was agog.

“Mystery Angel priest appears at Missouri Car crash” one headline went.

“The power of prayer and the Miraculous Angel priest,” screeched another.

At last the priest in question caught wind of the hubbub and quietly came out. Fr. Dowling, for that is his name, said that he was pleased that he was able to help by performing his ordinary ministry and noted that that he was just one of many who responded to assist the victim at the accident. “I think there may have been angels there too,” he added.

Fr Dowling

He was a good priest, and like all good priests, took no credit for what happened, rather, he selflessly attributed the success to others.

Suddenly, the story was no longer sensational, not even entertaining.

“Mystery Angel priest is just an ordinary priest who did nothing,” scoffed one headline.

 Disappointed, the media moved on in search of other sensations. They are like children who had flocked in looking for ghost stories and found an ordinary priest who had no wings, and couldn’t vanish.

 Search for the extraordinary, celebration of scandals and lethargic indifference to common place things are traits of today’s media culture, often at the mercy of the unscrupulous who, spurred by money, no doubt, fabricate titillating stories that are rewarded with instant media attention.  

Yet ordinary life is chockfull of miracles and God works great miracles from the ordinary. So as the world reels from the ugly acts of some priests, it’s worth remembering that there are plenty of good priests like Fr. Dowling, whose prayers, self effacing work and ordinary priestly duties makes the world a better place yet never acknowledged or celebrated by the media.

Katie Lentz

Out of hospital, and on her 20th birthday, Katie Lentz finally met Fr. Dowling and was so happy.

 “I feel so honored to be with such a man of faith,” she said. “He was there to do his job the day of the accident, and I’m so thankful he was there.”

Katie Lentz meets Angel priest

Chinwuba Iyizoba





Billion Dollar Couple Divorce: What about the Children?

16 01 2019

The 55yrs old billionaire and owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is divorcing his wife of 25yrs and mother of his 3 sons and an adopted daughter from China.

He is now in a relationship with a twice divorced woman and mother of 3, 49yrs old Lauren Sanchez, whom he met through her husband. Sanchez herself is ditching her husband of many years for Jeff and his billions.

Social media is abuzz and experts are speculating breathlessly about how the billions will be split (137billion), and who gets what. Tabloids are spewing steamy headlines to make the most from the sordid affair. Yet, they skip the hard questions: what about the children?

Studies show that children are significantly affected by the parents’ divorce. The upheaval in their lives a serious and demands they be protected by the state.

Adult children of divorce are more likely than children raised in intact families to be fearful of intimacy, according to Judith Wallerstein. They are especially fearful of commitment, often remaining on the brink of marriage in cohabitation arrangements. Their thinking: “I don’t want to happen to me what happened to my parents.” If they do marry, they tend to fear and avoid having children. Their thinking: “I wouldn’t want to inflict on my kids what my parents inflicted on me.”

Most of them never saw their parents’ divorce coming. They remember that, as children, when they were enjoying themselves, their parents one day called them together and said, “We have something to tell you…” Now, as adults, when they are supposed to be enjoying themselves, they are waiting anxiously for the other shoe to drop.

By every measure of flourishing known to social science, children of divorce do noticeably poorer than children raised in intact families: higher incidence of school drop-out, drug use, sexual acting out and teen pregnancy, need for the mental health profession and for anti-depressants.

In a better world, the outcry and condemnation of this brazen disregard for the children’s welfare would have carried across the globe. As always the Catholic Church remains the sole voice of sanity in a deranged world, proclaiming boldly that divorce is immoral…because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society (CCC 2385).

One you-tuber commented, “Marriage is for suckers cucks and simps” and another wrote, “I’m not getting married until this freakshow stops!” While many scoff at women, calling them names like, witch, suckers and the likes. It is clear confirmation of the damage divorce does to the fabric of society and the psych of the youths.

In a world gone insane walking the cliff edge, marital vows are not worth the paper they are written on; promises are no longer meant to be kept; dishonor is honorable; serial polygamy is fashion. Truly, the words from W.B Yeats’ poem, the ‘Second Coming’ are prophetic for our world today, ‘Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold’. A sad prophesy of the future of our world, cut adrift from sense and reason, drifting aimlessly in uncharted waters of moral and marital relativism. Yet many call it progress.

But as St Josemaria, the founder of Opus Dei said, “I want you to think about how evil has prospered. All over this field of God, which is the world – Christ’s inheritance – there are weeds. Not just a few weeds: vast quantities of them! I want you to be aware of this, so that you may never be deceived by the myth of constant, irreversible progress. Understand what I mean: progress, when it is properly directed, is good, and God wants it. However, there is a kind of progress that blinds all sorts of people, who fail to see that in some areas mankind sometimes goes backwards and loses ground previously gained

Chinwuba Iyizoba





The Unhappy Millionaire

10 01 2019
Richard Mason the unhappy millionaire

Those who don’t believe that money doesn’t make you happy often hiss, “Let me have it and find out for myself,” when told about it. Perhaps this story of a man who had millions but lost health and family will convince the most virulent skeptic that there are things much more important than money. According to the dailymail.co.uk, Richard Mason, a multimillionaire and the founder of money market, a multi-million dollar company went for a medical check to discover the cause of his recurring ill health. He didn’t bargain for what he got. The doctor told him he had cystic fibrosis, a disease inherited from birth, and incurable. But worse, he told him that people who suffer from this ailment do not have children.

The millionaire shot back: ‘You must have got the diagnosis wrong because I’ve got three sons.’

The doctor looked at the nurse, as if to say, “How do we deal with this?” and turning to him said, “In this hospital, we manage 2000 men with your condition and none has children -well except for one who later discovered that his wife cheated on him.”

The doctors then advised Richard to speak with his wife.

Anxious and heart thumping, Richard texted Kate, his ex-wife and mother of his 3 sons, aged 23, 19 and 18. They had divorced 10 yrs earlier and though he had remarried, at 54, he hadn’t bothered to have any more children.

“Hi Kate, I have just  been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and can you believe, the doctor says that I am infertile from birth, please put me out of my misery and tell me they are wrong and our boys are my children.”

The reply wasn’t long in coming

“Hi Richard, I’m deeply sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but no matter what they say, the boys are your children.”

Still, suspicious Richard confided in his first son who called his Mom and she confessed to having affairs throughout her marriage, in hotels whenever she was on overnight business trips for the bank where she worked. She however flat out refused to name the father of the child.

Kate, Richard’s ex-wife admitted to adulterous affairs thought out her marriage to Richard but refuses to name the man

Left with a tons of money in his bank, bereft of everything worthwhile in life, family, his children and worst, the knowledge of having lived 21 yrs in a marriage that was a fraud. Richard recently admitted he had frequent thoughts of suicide. Life had lost all meaning.

The adulterous wife must have been desperate for children and sensing her husband’s shortcomings decided to try elsewhere. Richard may have been a negligent husband, hard as flint, an old miser who loves money above all. Furthermore, Richard divorced his adulterous wife even before he knew her to be one, love for his children notwithstanding.

Whatever be the case, we may be sure that in all the articles written about this disappointing union, no one talked about the couple’s relationship with God. I strongly suspect that, like in most western marriages, God didn’t play a very big role in this family. And I believe that vertical relationships helps horizontal relationship as many spiritual writers often contend. Vertical relationship with God helps our horizontal relationship with one another. And without the fear of God, man becomes squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old savage, secret and self contained, incapable of giving himself to another in sacrificial love. Hence the appalling divorce statics of western marriages, (about 50% percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher, Luxembourg: 87%, Spain: 65%). I think this due to their hurling God out of their marriages, feet first.

The story is long, complicated, and heart breaking and gets quite out of breath by the time it gets to the murky fights over alimony and Richard’s desperate efforts to discover the identity of the man who slept with his wife for in this unfortunate marriage betrayal runs deep ( you can read the full article here). I will cut all that and by a short route bring us to my take: common necessaries and common comforts of life satisfied, money does not necessarily make us happier.

Chinwuba Iyizoba





Epiphany means “manifestation”

6 01 2019

Epiphany means “manifestation”. Today the Church celebrates our Lord’s manifestation to the whole world. He had already made himself known to the shepherds. Now he shows himself to the Magi, the first Gentiles to know him. The Epiphany is a proclamation of God’s will to save all mankind. Although the newborn Child is the Messiah promised to the Israelites, his redeeming mission extends to all people. He is the new Adam who, appearing in human flesh, has renewed us in the new light of his immortality.

The adoration of the Magi foreshadows the future coming of millions of souls of every race and tongue, called by God to adore Christ. Such is the full meaning of Isaiah’s prophecy: Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Isaiah addresses the holy city, which is a figure of the Church, the new Jerusalem, the light of all nations. Kings and peoples will come from all over the world, drawn by the brightness of its glory. The Church, as Mother and Teacher of every nation, welcomes them and presents them as a precious gift to Christ, her Spouse.

We know that all this began, says St Leo the Great, when a star led three Wise Men from a far country to come to know and adore the King of heaven and earth. The Magi’s obedience is held up to us as a model, so that we may also respond to the best of our abilities to this grace that draws all men to Christ.

Whoever lives a pious and chaste life in the Church, whoever savours the things that are above and not those of the earth, resembles, in some way, that heavenly light. By preserving in himself the splendour of a holy life, he shines like a star and shows many people the way leading to God.

Fortified by this zeal, dearly beloved, help one another to shine like the children of light in the Kingdom of God, which is to be reached through sincere faith and good works.





Chiemezie Okeke Weds Nkiru Aniagolu (Videos) 30th Dec 2018

31 12 2018

The couple leaving Holy Trinity Parish

The couple entering the reception venue

Moms dancing for joy

Enugu state governor pays his respects

Chiemezie and Nkiru, newest couple in town takes the throne

The couple cut the Cake of love

Chiemezie and Nkiru tell it all








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