Cinequest is thrilled to honor the courageous Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, with the Life of a Maverick Award for a lifetime of heroism and commitment to helping others. Patrons can join Cinequest in presenting Mr. Yeboah with this distinguished award following the 7:15 p.m. screening of the film Emmanuel's Gift at the Rep Theatre on March 6, 2005. Emmanuel, with only one leg, rode his bicycle across Ghana to challenge the nation's prejudice against those disabled in his country and opened the worlds eyes to their plight. Cinequest is privileged to host this incredible event during the 15th Annual Cinequest Film Festival.
To Cinequest, being a Maverick means demonstrating the courage to stray from the pack and display strength, innovation, and personal vision. In Ghana, the perception of the disabled is so bleak that if you are born disabled, there is a good chance you will be poisoned, abandoned or left with no chance at a decent future. Emmanuel, abandoned by his father at an early age because of his physical disability, decided that he wanted more out of life. It was at that exact moment that he set out to achieve the impossible and not succumb to a life of begging on the street for survival. Emmanuel demonstrated his strength and personal vision when he raised enough money to buy a bicycle, learned to ride it with one leg then traveled to remote villages, raising awareness to the cause. After months of preparation, he set out on a 600-kilometer cross-country mission to improve the status of the almost two million disabled in Ghana.
Oprah Winfrey narrates this emotionally charged documentary from Emmanuel's first experiences in Ghana to his realized efforts in the United States and then his return to Ghana where he embarks on a life-long journey to reshape his country's perceptions. Emmy award-winning filmmakers and twin sisters Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern captivate the audience with this awe-inspiring account of a man who will stop at nothing to empower his people and change his country forever. Cinequest is honored to bestow such an incredible human being with the Life of Maverick Award after the special event screening of Emmanuel's Gift.