Joel Kachi Benson had no home to go to growing up, as he roamed the streets of Ijesatedo, Lagos State, Nigeria in the day and slept in empty churches during the nights.
Those streets’ sojourn fuelled his ambition for greatness. He knew crime was not a way for him and would rather express his energy on creative channels.
He explored the world of Virtual Reality (VR) and quite beautifully, his name is now in the world, for all the good reasons, courtesy his touching story about the abducted Chibok Girls.
Benson placed Nigeria on the world map of VR after winning The Lion Award for the Best VR Story inside the magnificently exquisite Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy.
He had only gone to the Venice Film Festival to grace the same stage and platform with some of the biggest minds and names at the VR Festival and get his movie, ”Daughters of Chibok” to play alongside theirs.
Unbeknownst to him, organisers of the event had more in the cooler and when he was announced as the winner of the award, Kachi Benson felt proud of his modest beginnings, and all he has been through.
”Joel, you are this guy no one has ever heard of, just came out of the blues and placed your country on the world’s VR map. You just proved that with faith and courage, anyone can soar to the top,” Kachi Benson revealed he was told by someone at the event.
In a quite emotional speech, he thanked his wife, friends, teachers and everyone who has had to deal with his mood swings during his ‘mad experiments.’
”I stand here today representing my country, Nigeria as proof that all you need to get up there is faith and courage to tell all the stories that matter. With this VR film, I just wanted to take the world to Chibok to show them how women have been living in pain for 5 years because their daughters are still missing. I felt it was wrong for the world to move on and just forget. I thank everyone who has been on this experiment with me; my wife, she supports my crazy ideas and mad experiments.”
Again, Kachi Benson has proven that there are many Nigerians out there, working very hard to make good impressions and place the country’s name on the world map, in places previously seen as odd for Nigerians, as they take on new challenges and break boundaries.
Criminality will never be enough to judge a people and as much as the country’s name flies for all the bad reasons, there are still pleasant reasons to be proud of the Nigerian beginning and struggle for betterment.
Congratulations to Kachi Benson.