THE STORY OF MY LIFE – IFE
THE STORY OF MY LIFE – IFE
My Disability is no issue, I call myself Prince
Hello! My name is Ife, I live in Akure and I am physically challenged. Just thought I should share my experiences and hope you will write to me once in a while. I am actually sixteen and I have just left school. How did I become handicapped? Well, the way my mum put it, I had a running temperature and she thought it was teething problem so she gave me some herbs.
However by the next morning, I had developed more complications; she wasn’t exactly rich or a very educated so she had to ask for help. To cut the long story short, she did not get help on time and when she finally did, I could not walk properly again. I call myself prince because my mum says I am one. You know, I have met quite a lot of important people. I met one reporter some time ago and she felt so bad for me that she wrote a story about me and it became a play that was used on television which they called “A share of the sun”.
The First lady, Mrs. Olufunke Agagu produced that play so she could let people see why it is important to love people like me and why people like me should be allowed to go to school. She was so touched by our plight that she started an NGO, HANDEF. You are actually holding a copy of our magazine in your hand.
Hey! I thought of an idea, suppose we form a fan club and send each other fan mails. You know crazy things people tend to say about us, like someone offering you money just because you walk funny. Some of my friends used to be surprised if I say something profound. They seem to think being handicapped means you ‘ve got to be a stupid person. I get real hot under the collar when I hear parents, teachers or ordinary folks looking surprised because the handicapped can think. Man! Identify yourself first and then others will identify you by your own logo! Get it? so what is my logo? “I can, because I say so” Get my meaning.
Give yourself a logo my friend. HANDEF has one, “ABILITY IN DISABILITY”. I think it is a great logo if u ask me, but let us share our logos hmmm. Tell me what you believe in, if you had to look in a mirror and introduce yourself to me blah blah blah et cetera et cetera, how would you do that? My name is handicapped Tale? Of course not! You will say, ‘please meet prince Ifeoluwapo, the scientist in the making!’ That is right, my friend.
Being handicapped is not a title you attach to your name. it is a state of being, part of you! Have faith in yourself. You are you, just you, original. You know there are no photocopies of human beings around.
My mum used to tell me that each time she saw me looking sad, she would say, The Almighty Father must have had me in mind as at the time He gave me a name. WOW! That was heavy. I told her then feeling funny because you see, I had decided I was going to ask the Almighty Father one question! Like what was the idea of sending me down here with one and a half leg! I was very angry I can tell you. Then I saw….. did I say saw?… well wrong language, I meant to say that I noticed I can sing!
First, my songs were angry songs, you know – why me? I mean I was really feeling sorry for myself. We all do that you know, feel sorry for ourselves and think we can’t make it.
Gradually I listened more to what the CEO of HANDEF, Mrs. Olufunke Agagu said. She said to me if I could give myself the opportunity, I could be the best I could be.
Who says I cannot be a pilot? Leg or no leg? My mum stared at me, swallowed but said nothing. I am in the sciences now because you see I want to be a Nobel Prize winner one day for a scientific feat. There is no reason why I cannot. Remember my logo, good!
Since I am getting to know you for the first time, I will stop here for now. Write and let me know about your experiences, what do you think? What has challenged you my friend, have a logo man!
Catch you later ha! Ha!