As a contestant on the reality show Oprah's Big Give, Olusegun "Sheg" Aranmolate was one of 10 contestants who had the opportunity to travel the country, give back and change people's lives. The Peetes talk with Sheg, who was recently eliminated from the competition, about his lifelong commitment to charitable giving and what he would have done with the prize money had he won.
Growing up in Nigeria, Sheg says he witnessed extreme poverty firsthand, which made being a part of Oprah's Big Give especially meaningful. "I sort of felt like a superhero," he says. As a young boy, Sheg says his mother and father instilled in him the value of giving back to others, no matter what your position is in life. "The power of giving doesn't really have to do with how much money you have but how much you can personally connect to a person and change their lives," Sheg says.
He says his father, a plastic surgeon who trained in the U.K., has always served as a role model to him. Sheg says he admired his father's decision to return to his native Nigeria to practice reconstructive surgery, even though he could have made more money practicing cosmetic surgery in the West.
If he had gone on to win the $1 million prize, Sheg says he would have used the money to build a new facility for the Nigerian-based foundation he co-founded with his father, The Aranmolate Foundation for Deformed Children, and to encourage more grassroots involvement back at home. "I would take that money and use that to try and not only change the image of Nigerians and Africans but also try and empower more Africans to give," Sheg says.