Eddie, will be or is the first disabled African to be admitted to one of the leading tertiary institutions in the world Oxford. And he has dined with world’s top leaders and SA’s Chief Justice –the late- Pius Langa, to mention the few.
But for him to achieve that dream, firstly he has to get funds.
“I’m going to be the first disabled African to launch into space. I’m going to use my studies at Oxford in service of disability Justice, and in service of justice and dignity for all.”
As a result, he’s campaigning to raise more than R500 000(or the equivalent of $33 000) by July 31through his hashtagOxford Eddiecated.
Accordingly, his admission to the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford offers an opportunity for Eddie to continue realising his vision of creating a world open to all.
This campaign is a symbolic victory for millions of disabled youth across the globe. Eddie – a former Head of Youth Engagement in Africa for global human rights organisation Amnesty International – will use his Masters Degree in Public Policy to establish Evolve Initiative, a daring social organisation that seeks to close the access gap between people with disabilities and global society.
Diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at the age of two and only given five years to live by medical doctors – Eddie Ndopu (25) has since become the first disabled African person to be admitted into the University of Oxford.
“90% of children living with disabilities across the developing world have no access whatsoever to basic education. This staggering statistic shows the ways in which able-bodied supremacy becomes a precondition for access to education and recognition in society at large.
These are among the structural barriers young people of the world, are forced to live through on a day-to-day basis,” says Eddie.
Since moving to Cape Town from Namibia with his single mother-whom had fled apartheid South Africa, ) Eddie was a research analyst at the World Economic Forum and led a campaign for the educational rights of children with disabilities. As a result, Mail & Guardian named him among the top 200 young South Africans.
He took art classes, sketched incessantly, and dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. He was about to submit an application to New York’s Parsons School of Design when he got into Johannesburg’s prestigious African Leadership Academy, where the mission is to develop leaders who can transform Africa.
During his second year on scholarship at Canada’s Carleton University (he would eventually graduate summa cum laude).
Before he died in 2013, Langa, who had been appointed by Nelson Mandela to be the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, was Ndopu’s mentor.
One day, he told Ndopu: “You are the project.”
Ndopu hears the echo of this simple sentence as he pursues his work, which he says revolves around this question: “How does one carve out space for oneself in a world not yet ready for, or indeed, a world opposed to one’s existence?”
Eddie is known to the world as Eddiecation.
‘To Eddiecate is to enlighten society about the barriers that prevent people from realising their full potential’. Therefore, the donation is not just about getting him Oxford-educated, but also about ensuring Oxford becomes Eddiecated.
Eddie’s activism- has been recognised by Pacific Standard Magazine as one of the world’s 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 <https://psmag.com/the-30-top-thinkers-under-30-eddie-ndopu-5384935f9f83#.b6268td7s
Yes, let’s get this trailblazer, disability activist and future global leader achieving his dream at Oxford.