CHRONICLES OF A BLIND NIGERIAN (2)

By Demola Adeleke

The instant I lost my sight, daytime disappeared in my world. There was neither the sun nor the daylight, everything, including the blue sky, all turned dark. And so the blame game started in the family. While my parents blamed my blindness on the incapability of the eye clinic we frequented for 9 years, my siblings thought trying a private hospital they once recommended would have saved my sight, but at my own end, I felt the blame should be on fate which chose unfairly for me.

Surprisingly, my dad’s relatives who had never shown any concern when my sight was waning, immediately picked interest in my matter and called a family meeting. In the meeting, they all accused my mum as being the one behind her son’s blindness. Although, they made sure either of my parents was present at the gathering, but you know walls have ears, so the news got to my mum and added to the existing sorrow dangling in her heart.

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My parents, especially my mum, wept uncontrollably for the first few days of my loss and she would also lock herself up in the room for a session with melancholy. In fact, she almost had an eye defect as a result of the constant tears flowing down her eyes. The truth is, I was utterly perplexed on what shape my life would hence take, or if a camera lens gets spoilt, of what use could the camera be? I had so much thoughts running through my mind, but remembering how dejected my mum was forced me to man up and so I started assuring her that all would be fine.

Days, weeks, months were rolling by and various suicidal plans kept popping into my head. I wanted to die, I wanted to end the whole thing. I assured my parents I would be fine, yes; but in my mind, I was fuming with depression. All my friends had returned to school for the new session, but I was indoors with every moment of the day appearing as a moonless night.

“Days, weeks, months were rolling by and various suicidal plans kept popping into my head. I wanted to die, I wanted to end the whole thing. I assured my parents I would be fine, yes; but in my mind, I was fuming with depression. All my friends had returned to school for the new session, but I was indoors with every moment of the day appearing as a moonless night.”

Maybe I forgot to mention it, I had endeavored to scale through primary school, junior secondary classes and SS1 with my bad sight before blindness compelled my drop-out in my SS2. So as a 16-year-old boy whose academic pursuit got obstructed owing to his inability to see, I felt like I’d be left behind by friends and classmates.

Whenever my parents weren’t around and I was home alone, I would go hunting for a dry cell with which I could poison myself or get a sharp knife in the kitchen so I could stab myself with it, but I was never brave enough, I would only think of how painful dying is, as portrayed in movies, and instantly alter my decision to die.

“Whenever my parents weren’t around and I was home alone, I would go hunting for a dry cell with which I could poison myself or get a sharp knife in the kitchen so I could stab myself with it, but I was never brave enough, I would only think of how painful dying is, as portrayed in movies, and instantly alter my decision to die.”

As a year climbed upon the other and there still wasn’t any hope of my sight being restored, my parents gave up on the quest for a miracle and resorted to convincing me to attend a blind school. Me, blind school? I asked with utmost contempt. Of course, I had seen blind beggars carrying plates for alms on the street, and perhaps because of the sympathetic light in which they appeared, I hastily concluded that nothing good could come out of attending a blind school. In fact, I had this conviction at one corner of my mind that the establishment of blind schools was merely to segregate the blind from the society and probably to converge the blind beggars littering the streets at a specific place termed school, I never envisioned the possibility of a blind person studying in college.

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Being an opinionated person didn’t help my situation one bit, I discarded all my parents’ advice and continued harboring the misconception that my life had struck a ruin. As the hands of time rolled clock-wisely on their pivot, I became more and more useless to myself. Sleeping, eating and grieving gradually formed my daily activities while at my friends’ end, they were all progressing in their academics and taking steps closer to their dreams every year. I eventually had a reconsideration after some counseling from friends and family to enroll for a blind school in Oyo state.

On January 12th, 2012, I began a new academic race at a blind school situated at Ogbomoso, Oyo state. Although, I wasn’t easy at first, you know, having to learn the writing and reading method of the blind; or what do I do with the writing lessons I had in my nursery classes during my sighted days? Nothing of course, all have become irrelevant ever since pen and paper stopped being my writing materials. Within the first month of my studentship at the school, I had already finished learning braille and typing (the blind systems of reading and writing), a lesson which according to the curriculum, was supposed to be taught for a whole year. And so I became the topic of discussion amongst the teachers of the school, he learnt braille and typing in just 29 days? This is incredible!

Honestly, I wish I had bought my parents’ suggestion of enrolling for a blind school on time, maybe I would have gone farther than this in life. Anyway, no blame though after all, it’s never too late to make amends.

“Honestly, I wish I had bought my parents’ suggestion of enrolling for a blind school on time, maybe I would have gone farther than this in life. Anyway, no blame though. After all, it’s never too late to make amends.”

And after the rehabilitation which launched me properly into special education, I was promoted out rightly to SS2 where I kicked off as an Arts student as opposed the science field which I initially was under.

Mind you, the typing lessons I had in the blind school is what I applied in typing these chronicles.

…To be continued.

My name is Demola Adeleke, a final year student of Mass Communication at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in Enugu State, Nigeria. I am a blind Nigerian who, in spite of his eyes closed, has chosen to share his stories with you. You can reach me on 0803-444-9693 or seedemmy@gmail.com for any personal enquiries.

Thanks for reading.!

 

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