We're Going To Follow Disability Activist Eddie Ndopu On His Trip To Space
Award-winning, 27-year-old activist Eddie Ndpodu is planning to be the first physically disabled person to travel into space, and it’s just been announced that we at MTV will be documenting his journey there!
Now let's talk about diversity of representation...
His aim is to broadcast a special message to the UN General Assembly on behalf of young disabled people everywhere who have ever felt excluded by society. MTV will document Eddie's innermost thoughts as he anticipates lift off, and follow his progress right from enlisting at an aerospace company, to his actual journey into space to deliver his amazing message: that anything is possible!
“I like to describe myself as black, queer, disabled and fabulous. My disability is just one aspect of my life and I want to show the world that the words “disability” and “possibility” belong in the same sentence. I want to address the UN General Assembly from space to show young people who represent a cross-section of society that with a larger than life personality and a bit of human ingenuity, there's nothing one cannot achieve,” he said.
Originally from South Africa, Eddie was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at birth and given a life span of five years. Since then, he has defied all the odds and has an impressive CV of not just academic successes, but historic landmarks too. When he became the first African disabled man to graduate from Oxford University, for example. Click here to read our interview with him last year about some of his amazing achievements.
But what about the physical side of things - isn't going to space with a physical disability in some way dangerous? Well, Eddie has said that he has been cleared for space travel because he has great lung capacity, but considering that he has motor neurone disease it’s still an amazing physical feat. “There are reasons why people living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy have never travelled into space before,” he said. “Their bodies are not built to withstand such grueling activities, but I’m determined to show the world that anything is possible."
The announcement was made in the build-up to the Global Citizen Festival yesterday that Eddie attended, and (of course) in time for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (today!) all about promoting the well-being and rights of people with disabilities.
We wish him every bit of luck, and we can't WAIT to let you guys in behind the scenes, and show you what it takes Eddie to get to space and deliver his message. It's gonna be awesome.