Cosmas I. Okoli

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mobility Aid and Appliances Research and Development Centre (MAARDEC)

Cosmas Okoli was disabled by polio at the age of 4 and could not walk until he was 10 because rehabilitation and prostheses were unavailable during the civil war that ravaged eastern parts of Nigeria. Although his father had plans to have him trained as a cobbler, Cosmas insisted that he be enrolled in school. His siblings and other students carried him to and from school. Against all obstacles Cosmas excelled in his studies and graduated from the University of Lagos as a medical physiologist. He went on to head the Special Sports Federation of Nigeria and National Paralympics Committee. He took Nigeria to the Atlanta and Sydney Paralympics where Nigeria won a number of medals. Cosmas received the National Honours Award of Officer of the Order of the Niger by the government of Nigeria in December 2006.

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