Sosoliso plane crash survivor, Kechi Okwuchi has called on her fans to stop pitying her especially when they meet her on-on-one because as she put it, expressions of pity directed at her by people who want to encourage her become counter productive because it means that they are seeing her in a bad light.
The America Got Talent singer who escaped death by the whiskers when the aircraft she was traveling in crashed at Port Harcourt Airport in 2004 took to social media and addressed the issue in a video.
She said: “Hi, I am not someone to dwell on negative things people say about me or harsh comments or anything regarding my looks because that is not really the way to get my feelings hurt if you know me. I have a very realistic view of who I am and my looks. I don’t identify as beautiful or ugly, I am just Ketchi and I think that is a shield God gave me to be able to live my life the way I do.
“That being said, I do have memories, a couple but one recent one that I sometimes think about happened last year when I went to Nigeria and I was hanging out with my friends, one of my besties. She basically took care of me while I was in Nigeria. We were chilling and we stopped to buy credit cards and we met a security guard at the door of the office and she saw me and recognized me from America’s Got Talent and also she knew me as one of the survivors of the Sosoliso plane crash.”
Kechi says the security guard was so excited at seeing her she just kept talking all in a bid to encourage her and then she missed the point.
Kechi continues: “It was her first time of seeing me so she was like wow! Ketchi oh you are Kechi! So pleased to meet you.’ She kind of took me in and her tone became very sympathetic. She was like ‘chai eya’ and those are Nigerian words that connote a lot of pity, they are words that express pity. She said ‘don’t worry it is okay, live your life, don’t ever think bad and you will find a husband, you will find someone who will marry you.’ And I was like ‘thank you… thank you so much,” she pauses as she laughs. “My friend and I walked away and she was like wow!
“You know, everything in the security guard’s demeanor including her tone obviously implied I should feel bad. She was practically saying ‘your condition is very bad, don’t even think about it.’ But yes, I know I look very different and she meant well obviously but there was that ring of pity as she spoke to me and that was what really got to me. And that is why I am making this video to tell you guys that what really bothers me is not what people say or the bad comments they make about me. How I look or insults or harsh comments don’t make me feel bad.
“It is the pity that I can’t stand. It is a bad taste. You might think that you are being nice but everything you are saying with that pity implies that you are not seeing me in a good light even though you are trying to encourage me. So you know, that is what really gets at me, pity.”
Counting her blessings, she says she has every reason to be grateful to God. Hear her: “I am alive and that alone is a blessing. And then I am alive with all my limbs and brain intact. I am alive despite all the horrible things that could have gone wrong because of the plane crash. All I got was surface scars; everything inside of me is fine. Who am I supposed to complain to?”
Admonishing fans to stop expressing pity whenever they see her she continued: “I feel no need to pity myself or have others pity me. I am just grateful everyday. It is an extra blessing. The pity is not necessary. It gets at me. If you have nothing to say except things like that then just say ‘hi, nice to meet you.’ This is just my way of addressing that.”
Kechi Ogwuchi was one of the two survivors when Sosoliso Airline crashed in Port Harcourt in inclement weather killing all on board over a decade and half ago. Despite the injuries she sustained, she went on to study for her degree and today she has an MBA. She made headlines when she made it to Simon Cowell’s America’s Got Talent a couple of years back and currently she is pursing a music career and has a couple of singles to her credit.