There’s this idea society planted in me about people with disabilities.. They always end up as beggars, they were disgusting people.

After every thing, still winding up poorer than church rats.. Living off the mercies of us., The complete ones with good eyes, ears, nose, legs, hands and maybe brains. The few ones I met around didn’t help matters.., the blind Hausa man on the way to the market.., the mute guy I see in church every Fridays and Sundays.., the deaf ones I see at almost every park while traveling (they were neater sometimes anyway), the mad men at Umuahia.. In all, I only thought of my completeness as the perfect working capacity of my every limbs and sense organs., nothing more.. That definition went unchallenged till I met someone…

I met him at training sessions once or twice with clearly no is idea of his disability.., till the day I reported his “excessive snubbing” to my coach. My coach simply said “he’s specially able..” (poi: I haven’t seen a deaf that could talk b4). It took a while to sink in., a good long while. Buh when it did, what came back to the surface was profound love admiration for this debater and tab master..

His life alone made me go back to my definition of Persons with disabilities.. He was a graduate, a computer wizard, an IT blah blah blah, a politician, Nigeria’s number 1 tab master.. and a renowned tab master in Africa.. that was deaf.. This was a guy with disabilities who is invited for tournaments with all expenses covered for him to come and tab..


Nelson Jovial (left) was part of the Core Adjudication Panel for the 6th Edition All Nigerian Universities Debating Championship (ANUDC).

I came to realize the truth about the word “disability”.. Disability was like what surrounds you, but not makes you.. I realized it may Mar your appearance, but never your spirit. I realized it’s real weapon was the ability to convince the mind that a small impediment was total failure of the body. It turned out the life span and strength of a disability was  dependent on your ability to never succumb to it.

There are times when we seem backed to the wall.. Instincts still telling us to fight regardless… Barriers still seeming to appear tall.., yet we still thrive for goal never the less.. If we perceive ourselves as champions in spite of challenges.., then champions we are even with the shortcomings. Cos perception ain’t reality.. Perception ain’t looking at the barriers but looking through them..

Disabilities aren’t characterized by permanent powerlessness or ineffectiveness.. But by how scared you are to break the glass ceilings and show the world the stuff you’re made of… True disability lies in the mind.. I know this cos I know a brother who is deaf but still inspires me everyday…



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