Nine years ago, I had my sight, but today, I’m a blind Nigerian. Who knows tomorrow?
By Ademola Adeleke
When you insult me with my blindness, it pulls not a strand of hair from my body. After all, no-one is above the reach of disability. If you think I’m lying, ask Elizabeth, she will give you a perfect instance by citing herself. Ok, let me tell you her story. She used to render humanitarian services to the disabled students in her school, but sadly, she had a terrible accident on her way home few years ago. Oh ye readers, as I write now, Elizabeth is chilling on a wheelchair.
Mind you, that’s for someone who would go out of her way to help the challenged, how much more of those who feel they have the immunity to resist disabilities, thus, mocking the disabled and enjoying the act.
Truth be told, I don’t wish for even my enemies to be blind. During my university days; I was at a lecturer’s office one afternoon when I overheard a girl telling the lecturer about a dangerous eye disease she was diagnosed with, and even though I barely knew the girl, she always has a section in my prayers ever since that day.
Oh my, why am I skipping an experience I had in my 2nd year in the university? Ok ok, I’m going to share the experience with you, but please don’t blame or insult my lecturer, guess the fault is from his ignorance about life.
Just like I noted earlier, it was in my 2nd year. In my department, there were times when lecturers would give tests unannounced. Like, impromptu tests, and as a blind student, I always kept my writing material (typewriter) in the class so as to participate in any unforeseen class exercises.
So, on this faithful day, the lecturer stormed into the class; and you know their usual order whenever they want to give an impromptu test, ‘everybody, tear a sheet of paper,’ he hollered. Knowing my typewriter was functional plus I’d spent the previous night running through the lecturer’s notes was what armed me with all the assurance of scoring high in the test. So, I found my way down to where my typewriter was, placed it on the table, set the paper on it and struck the keys carrying the letters making up my name and registration number.
The hall went quiet, guess everyone was in anticipation of the test questions, but Mr. Lecturer gave our expectation a different twist by sending all of us out of the hall. Maybe he had this conviction that the congestion in the hall would pave a wide way for cheating, so he divided the class into batches and asked the 1st batch to enter the hall for their test.
I fell under the 2nd batch, so I had to stay outside till the 1st batch finished writing. ‘tick tack tick tack’, Some minutes lapsed and it got to our turn to go in for the test, I marched along with the queue’s direction and finally settled at the spot where I had kept my typewriter.
Lo and behold, my village people were so powerful to the extent of travelling from Ibadan down to Nsukka in just a blink. Like, my typewriter had busted, it was so stiff that the carriage wasn’t moving at all. Damn! What the heck just happened?!! At the other end, Mr. Lecturer had already called the 1st question and was waiting for us to answer before calling the 2nd question. I was destabilized, perhaps because I don’t joke with my marks.
“Sir, please I’m having an issue here”, I called on the lecturer for some help, at least to inform him of what sudden fault my typewriter had developed, but his response sounded saucy. Or what would you have thought if you got a response like, ‘Yes Adeleke, what’s your problem?!’, in a very harsh voice?
Well, I could instantly smell insult, but tell me what makes a man if he can’t stand by his words. So, I replied him thus, “sir, my typewriter just had a fault, but I’ll be glad if I can get someone whom will help pen down my answers while I dictate them”. Mind you, I made that suggestion because students who weren’t members of my class were passing, and as a lecturer that he is, it was never an issue to beckon at a student to come write for the blind student in his class. Besides, that wasn’t going to be the first time of employing that method in cases of impromptu tests, so it was never a big deal.
Oh lord of mercy! I heard the insults of my life that day. He started by mumbling some words, then graduated to yelling, “What’s you guys problem? Who gave you admission to this school self? Why didn’t you go to a blind university where you can cope? Why are you always giving me problem in this class?!.. He ranted, raved and raged at me for some seconds before getting off my neck.
Maybe I felt a little bad, probably because it was in the presence of a considerable number of students; but how to get the test done was my main worry. Some of my classmates who were outside but captured the whole insulting scene quickly went hunting for a guy who later wrote the test for me.
Immediately the test was over and the lecturer left, some of my friends in class approached me and were like, ‘don’t mind Mr. Lecturer Demmy, all is well’. Mind Mr. Lecturer? Why on earth will I mind him? At least I can boast of an area where I’m more knowledgeable than him, he knows nothing about the twists of life while I know so much on that already.
Nine years ago, I had my sight, but today, I’m a blind Nigerian. Who knows tomorrow? Who knows what will become of him tomorrow? See, you’d better not mock me because what you see today may not be there tomorrow..
I eventually had an A in the course the lecturer took us on. Hey peeps! One word for Mr. Lecturer please.