Why this Covid doctor hid his homeless past
Emmanuel Taban spent his childhood as a witness to the violent civil war in Sudan. He grew up in what is now South Sudan but, by the time he was a teenager, he’d spent time in prison – falsely accused of being a rebel spy – and had then left his home. He ended up travelling across Africa, mainly on foot, sleeping on the streets and relying on the kindness of strangers for food. Eventually he reached South Africa where he finally was able to go to school and get a scholarship to study medicine. He became a well-known lung specialist whose work into Covid treatments would save many lives. All this time, his family had no idea where he was and many years later, when they were finally reunited, they couldn’t believe how a boy from Juba had become a well-regarded doctor with his own medical practice. For a long time, Emmanuel hid what he’d endured to fulfill his ambitions – his new life was very different to the one he’d left behind. But now he was proud of all he’d achieved and was ready to reveal the truth about his journey. His book is called The Boy Who Never Gave Up.
Presenter: Emily Webb
Producer: Katy Takatsuki
(Photo: Dr Emmanuel Taban. Credit: Darrel Fraser)
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Listen to the interview on BBC Outlook Website.