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.
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. By refusing to give up, Emmanuel has risen above extreme poverty, racism and xenophobia to become a South African legend.
In this updated edition, he shares some of his experiences at the frontline treating severely ill COVID-19 patients, as well as his thoughts around Ivermectin and vaccines against the virus.