The inspiring story of a lady who goes by the name Blessing Mary Ocheido has gone viral. The lady who is partially physically challenged narrated her ordeals while pursuing her dream course in the university she had gone to study Pharmacy, on her facebook account
Read what she wrote:
SURVIVING DISABILITY IN NIGERIA
At the age of three, I had a medical accident and suffered a spinal cord injury. For the past two decades, I have had to walk with an aid. Seeing that I’ve gone through some twenty years of my life with partial paralysis, this makes me an authority on physical disability, no??
At the age of nine, I was completely engulfed in fire on a certain April night, which has left me with very telling scars on parts of my body.
Being physically disabled in Nigeria is probably one of greatest challenges I’ve ever had to face. Why? Because the society doesn’t expect you to amount to anything. Structures are put up every day in this country without the slightest consideration for physically disabled individuals. I also grew up in the north where the slightest handicap qualifies you to beg on the streets. In fact your family abandons you or even pushes you around every day to solicit for alms.
I grew up with a different set of parents anyway. They kept pushing and asking me to do so much more with myself that at a point I felt hated. Lol. My father made sure I learnt how to do every little thing by myself. The first time I rode pillion, my father put me on the motorcycle himself.
“You can do it,” he kept on chiming.
All these things made me grow into the very independent and self sufficient person that I’m today. Not just in terms of physical tasks but academically too. My father grilled my sisters and I so much that being the brightest students in our different classes was not enough for him. He made us to strive to be better in our grades every single day. I did excel from primary to secondary school.
Then I started pharmacy school in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in February 2010. A lot of people did not believe I could cope because so many people drop out of pharmacy school every semester or were withdrawn. At a point even I, myself wanted to quit. I had several staircases to climb, laboratory practicals and clinical ward rounds to attend all the time.
It was gruelling and back-breaking. We had lectures and practicals from 8 AM to 5 PM from Monday to Saturday every week. There was a semester we wrote almost fifty continuous assessment tests not including the impromptu ones we call shot guns in ABU, Zaria. Through all of this, I kept falling sick, underwent a major surgery and was even victimised by a lecturer. But somehow I survived.
I was supposed to be inducted into the pharmacy profession following graduation in January this year but less than one week to the ceremony, my exam officer informed me that my name was not on the graduation list. I quickly travelled back to school to fix the problem but they said it was too late and that I had to wait till the end of the new session.
I was devastated and even felt like a failure. I cried my eyes out day and night and withdrew into my shell. I pushed all my friends and family away and stopped picking my calls.
For more than six months of this year, I was moved around like a ghost. But the more I pushed real people away, the more active I became on social media. LOL. And then I began to write more. I have written more books this year than I have written anything in all my life, although most of these were contracts from clients.
Well at the end of the day, I got the last laugh. I finally got inducted a few days ago. I’m sharing this story to encourage someone out there, especially the physically challenged individuals. Don’t give up on yourself. And to every else, if you need a reason to wake up every morning, if you need a reason to try again, if you need a reason to reach for the stars and to not give up on your dreams, think about me.
If I could do it and I’m still doing it, then you can do much more!!