“I need to tell this story until there are no more stories like this to tell.”
Ousman Umar had a dream: to go to paradise.
As a young boy growing up in a remote village in Ghana, Ousman looked up in the sky one day and saw an airplane.
“So I started asking a lot of questions, which only led to more questions. ‘Who are those white people? Where do they come from?’
“That’s when I wanted to go to this land of the white man, this paradise called Europe.”
Be careful what you wish for.
At 12-years-old, Ousman made his way to Accra, Ghana’s capital and seaport, where he learned to weld, and where he saved enough money to begin his journey north… to paradise.
Instead he found hell.
“Hell exists,” he says. “And that was hell.”
Over the next five years, Ousman was dumped in the middle of the Sahara Desert, beaten and imprisoned in Benghazi, Libya, shipwrecked trying to get to the Canary Islands on a makeshift raft, where most all of his friends died at each step of the journey.
But he was never alone… until he got to paradise.
“In the desert, I had people who were always close to me. In Barcelona, nobody looked in my eyes. Nobody answered my greetings.”
And nobody helped him.
“Two good months, in winter, sleeping on the streets of Barcelona. I was invisible.”
That’s when the miracle happened.
And that’s when, for the first time in five years, the tears came.
“I cried all night, wondering why. Why? Then in the morning, I realized that the question shouldn’t be ‘why,’ but ‘what.'”
And that’s when Ousman found his life’s purpose, which led him to also discover who he is.
“I’m the President of my world.”
And with his presidential power, Ousman is changing the world, our world, with NASCO Feeding Minds.
His harrowing journey will leave you crying from the betrayal, from the loneliness. His spirit will leave you wiping the tears, from the love that pours from the heart of this incredible human being.
You can buy Ousman’s book in Spanish, Viaje al País de los Blancos, coming soon in English.
And you can listen to it here, on this episode of Story Warriors, the podcast for crafting great stories.