Over 30 years ago, on a hot summer afternoon in Lagos, Nigeria, a missionary from Wisconsin approached a young African boy and invited him to enter a contest where the prize was a pair of shoes. For this young boy, like so many others in Africa, the chance to own just one pair of shoes was beyond his wildest dreams that day. That boy’s name was Emmanuel Ohonme.
Emmanuel “Manny” Ohonme won the contest on that hot summer day and earned his first ever pair of shoes. But, even more important than the pair of shoes, were the words of hope shared by this “Good Samaritan”. The missionary gave not only the gift of shoes to the young boy, but the gift of encouragement about believing in your dreams, reaching for the sky, and never giving up.
That gift of hope propelled the young boy to work hard at developing his talents, skills, and confidence. As a young man, he turned those lessons into success, earning a full basketball scholarship to a college in America.
Earning his Bachelors and Masters, Manny was climbing the ladder of success in the technology industry when on a trip home to Nigeria, his passion and compassion collided and became a vision of Samaritan’s Feet. Determined to make a difference, both in his homeland and around the world, Manny and his wife, Tracie began Samaritan’s Feet in 2003. Through Samaritan’s Feet, Manny has the opportunity to continue the legacy of love and hope he received when he was given his first pair of shoes and make a difference in the lives of millions.