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A PEEK INTO THE MIND OF THE CHALLENGED (SERIES 1)
-Stories that touch; stories that inspire
READ the part one here – click here
READ the part two here – click here
READ the part three here – click here
READ the part fourth here – click here
READ the part five here – click here
After five whole years of different rounds of physiotherapy with little improvement, the last born of the Ogundiyas decided to set out and get what she wanted out of life. When I asked her, she told me that she didn’t just wake up and think about going back to school though. Not at all.
“What motivated you then?” I asked, obviously perplexed.
“A friend insisted that I went back to school and I thought he was crazy when he said it because i just couldn’t fathom how I will survive without my legs. He was my secondary school mate and he told me that all the worries I had will be over one day.”
Oluwaseun said that she eventually listened to him and against all odds, she gained admission into the Federal College of Education(Special), Oyo in 2007. She proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 2012 where she recently bagged a Bachelor of Education degree from the Institute of Education Department.
“I majored in Social Studies Education.” She informed me, like a woman who was sincerely proud of her achievement.
When I asked what the journey had been like and what her driving force was, she smiled and said:
“There have been a lot of down moments; it was hell for me at first but I survived them all. My first year in NCE was really tough and I would have gone back home if not for my late sister’s words who told me that the only thing she needed from me was for me to look back after 10 years and be thankful that I moved on.”
“Was it that the society was different in their dealings with you? Did they make it any easy for you or otherwise? What is your perception of the society and how has it been like for you emotionally?” These and many other questions, I asked in a tone that showed how desperate I was to see through her screen and feel her hurt.
“Maryam! Haha! Let me answer these questions one after the other now.” She brought me back to reality and I was afraid I might have quizzed her further than I should. I feared that I might also have pricked a part of her that she had been fighting hard not to reveal. I offered a quick apology, and she in her usual way, told me it was nothing since she promised to help with whatever questions I had for her.
She adjusted those legs again for the umpteenth time in the course of our discussion, relaxed her back, gave a heavy sigh and continued:
“If I tell you that it had been easy, then I’m being dishonest. It was extremely embarrassing for me to see people stare unnecessarily at me when I moved on the streets. It affected me so much that I initially didn’t like going out because it was frustrating…. Taking what I wanted from the world hasn’t been a jolly ride too but since I’ve realized that it is not easy for the able-bodied alike, I decided to believe in myself and fight whatever it is that came my way.”
She must have noticed through my fluttering eyes that I wasn’t satisfied; she hadn’t fully answered me and had not got to where I was really interested in. she chuckled, gave me a light pat and was like:
“On the issue of relationships, I have come to realize that a lot of people will want to take advantage of my situation. A lot of people will come for the body. A lot will just come out of pity and won’t be strong enough to handle the comments from people. I was in a relationship for seven whole years during which the incident happened and I thought I was going to get enough solace in him but I was wrong. He couldn’t see beyond my new condition and ended it because he said it won’t be easy for him to pitch his tent with someone like me – the new disabled me I guess.”
“But I’m sure that there are a few good ones out there that will be strong enough to wither the storm with you and stick around till the end of time.” I told her and that statement lit her up. She happily told me how wonderful her new partner had been; how supportive and how willing he had been with everything that she needed help with….
“I think he has been sent as a form of consolation. When we started dating, I didn’t put my mind into it because I didn’t expect too much out of it. But he has proven me wrong. He understands that there are things I won’t be able to do because of my condition and he has never made me feel like an invalid.” Oluwaseun told me, beaming with smiles.
I left her room on this blessed day with various emotions eating into my bones. I had learnt a whole lot from this charming lady, who has, against all odds, found a good life for herself. As I left, I silently prayed that her joy lasts forever, and sincerely hoped that God kept her and her love together till the very end.
I bade her farewell with a strong will not to keep this story to myself. “This is something the world should know,” I told myself, “and I will make sure that the world read about it.”
Oluwaseun Ogundiya has plans of helping kids with learning difficulties as a result of one form of disability or the other in the future.
She is a smart, intelligent, beautiful and extremely resilient lady that wants the society to see the aforementioned qualities before seeing her ‘seeming disability’.
She wants you to stop thinking on her behalf and stop assuming that you know her.
She is strong and that is the only thing she wants you to consider.
She is brilliant and that is why she wants you to employ her without using her wheelchair as an excuse.
She has challenges but she is not weak. She is on wheels but she can make a great mother to your son/brother’s kids if you can give her the opportunity.
Her name is Oluwaseun Ogundiya and she wants an inclusive society for all.
Edited by: Noble (Facebook link: Eyinfunjowo Cool Kay)
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