The Boy Who Never Gave Up: Dr Taban talks about his incredible life journey

The Boy Who Never Gave Up: Dr Taban talks about his incredible life journey

Dr Emmanual Taban spoke about his new book, The Boy Who Never Gave Up. 

Dr Emmanuel Taban
Jacaranda FM/ Dr Emmanuel Taban

In 1994, 16-year-old Emmanuel Taban walked out of war-torn Sudan with nothing and nowhere to go after he had been tortured at the hands of government forces, who falsely accused him of spying for the rebels. When he finally managed to escape, he literally took a wrong turn and, instead of being reunited with his family, ended up in neighbouring Eritrea as a refugee.

READ: Dr Emmanuel Taban named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans

Over the months that followed, young Emmanuel went on a harrowing journey, often spending weeks on the streets and facing many dangers. Relying on the generosity of strangers, he made the long journey south to South Africa, via Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, travelling mostly by bus and on foot.

When he reached Johannesburg, 18 months after fleeing Sudan, he was determined to resume his education. He managed to complete his schooling with the help of Catholic missionaries and entered medical school, qualifying as a doctor, and eventually specialising in pulmonology.

READ: Dr Emmanuel Taban talks escaping his war-torn home in the '90s

Emmanuel’s skill and dedication as a physician, and his stubborn refusal to be discouraged by setbacks, led to an important discovery in the treatment of hypoxaemic COVID-19 patients. By never giving up, this son of Sudan has risen above extreme poverty, racism and xenophobia to become a South African legend. 

Dr Emmanual Taban joined the Scenic Drive to talk about his journey, COVID-19 and his new book. 

"I never wanted to become a doctor. At a young age, I wanted to go where the money was, however, destiny choice medicine for me."

"I was never really depressed because I knew everything happened for a reason."  

"It's not about what you have, it's about where you want to go."

Watch the interview below: 

Tune in to the 'Scenic Drive with Rian', weekdays from 16:00-19:00. Stream the show live here or download our mobile app here.

Image: Jacaranda FM/ Dr Emmanuel Taban

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