The Guardian
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Nigerian billionaire’s son donates kidney to 21-year-old Israeli student



IT  is the ultimate act of kindness to donate one of your two kidneys to a complete stranger; but Smith Jadesimi, a 28-year-old son of a Nigerian billionaire, decided to do just that because he believes everyone deserves a chance to life.

   Jadesimi made Nigeria proud in far away Israel, when he generously gave his kidney to Omaima Halabi, a 21-year-old law student from Israel. He donated his kidney to the dying lady, who he had never met. His resolve to donate his live organ began in December 2014, after listening to the message of the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN), Prophet T.B. Joshua, on the act of giving. 

   He had searched the google engine for the words, ‘people who need help’ and discovered the website of a non-governmental organisation — Matnat Chaim — Hebrew word for Gift of Life, an organisation that desperately seeks organ donors.      

   After reading about the NGO’s unique kidney donation programe in Israel, he emailed them, but his email was treated with skepticism. 

   For Rabbi Yeshayahu Heber, a kidney recipient and the founding chairman of the group, admitted that he felt it was a ploy from a desperate Nigerian to gain visa into Israel, as a foreign worker, like many other Africans. 

   “We don’t want those who have fallen on hard times and want to donate their kidneys for money; we are only seeking altruistic donations,” he had said.

   Despite his initial rejection, Jadesimi persisted in his writing, until he eventually convinced Heber that he was for real and was ready to undergo medical tests for suitability in a Nigerian hospital, which he passed. 

   According to him, the rabbi changed his mind about him, but there was still the Israeli Embassy to convince about visa. After several high profile meetings, he was granted visa. The surgery was done at Haifa’s Rambam Medical centre and it was a success.

   On what prompted his decision, Smith said: “My Christian faith was an instrument factor in my decision. As a member of the Synagogue Church, Prophet Joshua inspired me through his extensive charitable missions. Love isn’t just in your heart, you have to do something to show you love others,” he said.

   He added: “Our parents read the Bible with us every morning, and they stressed the value of love. You can believe in something, obey the commandments, keep the Sabbath holy, but love is the greatest motivator. If you really love, you won’t steal or covet your neighbor’s wife.”

   Smith’s father, Ladi Jadesimi is the executive chairman of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base, and a director at FCMB. He was recently listed among the 10 billionaires you probably never heard of. 

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