13 years ago, Kechi Okwuchi was in a plane crash that killed 107 of the 109 passengers on board with 60 of the passengers, classmates from Loyola Jesuit College. 16 year old at the time, Kechi and one other passenger survived.
Over a period of 10 years, she has had over 100 reconstructive surgeries, including one to completely restore the nose she lost. In 2015, Kechi graduated from the University of Saint Thomas , in Texas, United States , with a Magnum Cum Laude in Economics and Marketing. She was the student speaker at the Commencement Ceremony.
On December 2015, she gave a powerful Ted Talk in Euston, and even though this speech is three years old, it contains many invaluable lessons for the contemporary woman. Five lessons that resonates deeply with us from the speech are listed below
1. If life has dealt you blows that came with scars as an attendant consequence, scars you have to wear for a lifetime, you must understand that, your scars do not have the power to define you. Only you have the power to define yourself.
2. You are first an individual before you are anything else. Refuse to allow society label you.
“I feel like when we’re born, God gives us all these paths before us, but then society tends to close up these paths even though they mean well. But just imagine if every young person, every young girl, was given the option to explore her true passions without the burden of expectation or direction, a new different society would definitely emerge.”
3. Marriage shouldn’t be elevated as the highest most defining thing in your life. Your worth as a woman should not be tied to your ability to ‘get and keep a man’.
“We have young girls who are taught by society expectations that their worth is based off of marriage”
4. Know yourself and know your vision.
5. It is your passions that give rise to the vision you have for your life.