The inspirational life of Dr Emmanuel Taban


A Sudanese man who fled wars and walked over 6000 km to South Africa where he has become a leading pulmonologist has become a social media sensation.

Dr Emmanuel Taban has also become a poster boy on how refugees can contribute positively to countries across Africa.

Taban’s extraordinary was featured in special TV programme Carte Blanche in South Africa and he is now being celebrated across social media.

Taban was born in a tiny village in South Sudan and he and four siblings were raised by a single mother. At the age of 14, he was arrested by the Sudanese military for being a rebel-spy. He was detained, tortured at the “White House”, a notorious prison. He was then sent off to the capital city, Khartoum. 

Taban fled to neighbouring Eritrea, where he was again imprisoned. Upon his release, he walked nearly 3000km to an uncle in Nairobi, Kenya, but he was rejected.  He continued in his journey for a home and greener pastures. He travelled another 3000 km through East Africa on his own and eventually into South Africa.

In South Africa, he studied at the Medical University of South Africa 

In the Carte Blanche segment, Taban was featured for his groundbreaking procedure –  therapeutic bronchoscopy –  that he uses to save the lives of critically-ill COVID-19  patients on ventilators.

Thomson Reuters Foundation