Written by Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawale - Vanguard, Nigeria.
Launched last year at the One Young World Summit in Dublin, Ireland, the programme consisted of a year-long search to find one inspiring individual, who will become the voice of the next generation, culminating in the chosen champion being catapulted onto the world stage and into space.
Flying beyond the 100km mark by XCOR Aerospace'sLynx® Spacecraft, the champion will be presented with the opportunity to view the world from an entirely new perspective.Also through the unique experience, if chosen Rising Star will provide new insight into global discussions on some of the world's most pressing issues.
Osonuga who hail from Ogun State was selected based on the tremendous social media engagement, candidate profiles on the Rising Star website, video content among others.Speaking during a courtesy visit to Vanguard Corporate Head Office in Lagos, Osonuga explained that he was selected following his efforts to garner support from the entire country including the government.
"I was also selected for my efforts to use both national and international press to inform an international audience of his journey, from Ebola suit to spacesuit and how his mission to change the world continues."
Elated Osonuga is up against Keren Jackson of Ireland and Hussain Manawer of the United Kingdom. These three finalists will be flown to Bangkok next month where they will attend the One Young World Summit and also deliver a keynote speech on their topic of choice to the thousands of delegates present as well as a panel of global business leaders after which the winner of a space trip will be announced.
"If selected, I will be making Nigeria proud as the first Nigerian to go to space thereby making history in the process."Going to space is not the overall objective of the project. It is to be able to raise global conversations on issues that affect us all as inhabitants of planet earth such as climate change, global peace and poverty.
Osonuga who was among the 250 Nigerian Ebola doctors sent to some of the West African countries to contain the disease expressed gratitude to Nigerians urging them to support him once more.
"What I want Nigerians to do for me is to continue to support me as we have only three weeks left. We need to sustain the main stream media support and social media support. To support please use the hastag: #sendfreemantospace on twitter and for facebook users
"I am using this opportunity to reach out to Federal government to support us more at this final stage. I am also appealing to my fellow young Nigerians; please let's support the dream by using #sendfreemantospace on twitter, facebook, google+, instagram, @krugercowne, @freeman_osonuga and other social media platforms."
Reacting to the finalist selection, Chief Executive Officer, Kruger Cowne, Mr. Mark Cowne explained, "We were overwhelmed with the phenomenal talent the shortlisted 30 exuded. It was a tough decision selecting the final three; however Freeman, Keren and Hussain embodied what it means to be a rising star, exemplifying leadership quality and a true passion to change the world. Going above and beyond their application, these 3 future leaders inspired us with what they stand for, what they were trying to achieve and what they have already achieved in the world."
With astronauts, global leaders and entrepreneurs from the Kruger Cowne roster offering mentorship, the chosen young leader will be managed and positioned to develop powerful connections and given a platform to engage with a global audience and develop solutions to some of the world's most pressing issues.
Filename: Freeman date: 01/11/2015 Pix file name: Freeman