A man with one leg rides his bicycle and tries to change the world.
Emmanuel is an athlete with a humble goal: to help people with disabilities in Africa, and eventually all over the world.
He was born in Ghana, with only one good leg. In Africa, people born with a disability are shunned, left for dead or even poisoned. If they live, they are not accepted into schools or society in general. Fortunately, he had a mother who wouldn't bend to the pressure from the community to abandon him because he was a bad omen. Instead, his mother taught him that everyone is a child of God and every person deserves love and a chance to contribute to society.
In his youth, he was determined to show his community that he could do what other kids did. He shined shoes to buy a soccer ball and learned to play on crutches. People saw him playing and it began changing their hearts. As he grew up, he started to ride a bicycle. And ride. And ride. He became an athlete and rode across the whole country— showing communities all over Africa something they had never dreamed possible. People in each village and town saw how a man with only one leg could do the same or better than a man with two. If this were true for riding a bicycle, perhaps it was true for other areas of life... Emmanuel’s determination began to change more hearts.
Then, to his surprise, he became the most famous athlete that no one had ever heard of. ESPN called to tell him that he was going to receive its ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award with Jim Mac Laren. Oprah Winfrey presented the award on national television at the famous ESPY Award ceremony. He also received Nike’s Casey Martin Award for courage in sports. A documentary was released entitled Emmanuel’s Gift. He helped lead the way to get national legislation passed for people with disabilities in Ghana. And it was a success! But legislation alone does not always change hearts.
Today, He dreams...to build the first school and Sports Academy in Ghana for people with disabilities— both students and staff. A school that will provide a place for people with disabilities to flourish and have a chance to contribute to society. And, ultimately to create a movement for justice and human equality across Africa.