THE BLIND DATE
Once upon a time, I was on an expedition in Nigeria from the South-East to the South-West. The old man in his early sixties with his pair of medicated glasses entered the vehicle and sat close to me. Three hours into the journey, I had the courage to start a conversation with him. This was the beginning of a talk I will always love to remember and relish.
It all started with a question as regards his destination. Alas! Guess what? He was going to the weirdest place of all.
David was heading to a renowned College of Education in the South West. “Are you a lecturer?” I inquired with a smiling face.
“No, I am a student. I am running a degree program in the College of education”, he answered with a face painted with decorous smiles. The unanticipated statement jolted me and made me curious.
And that was how he fed my ears with the song of his inspiring story.
His journey to get educated started in a market square in Umuahia when the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu made all market squares in the State centres for adult education classes. David attended these classes for three years to gain informal education.
He sat for WASSSCE (West African Senior Secondary School Council Examination) the first time and had four credits. He tried WASSSCE for the second time and landed six credits. He combined the results and put in for JAMB exams. He had 180 on the dot which was the cut-off to enroll for NCE in a College of Education. He got 61 in the Post-UTME of the school and earned his admission. After completing his NCE, he decided to go for a degree program with his NCE certificate in the same institution. David travels ten hours from Umuahia to Ibadan to attend lectures and school in proper. He has a wife and two children who are already graduates. You begin to wonder why he embarked on such an expedition of this ilk.
During the conversation I had with him, he said, “I want to keep moving forward, I don’t like having a bus stop, I literally hate stagnancy. I have embarked on this journey to get educated so has to prove some critics wrong and put aright some wrong notions.”
This encounter with Mr. David got me thinking because he is not only in his early sixties but also VISUALLY IMPAIRED. He got visually handicapped at the age of 13.
“As a visually impaired person, it takes courage to move from one destination to another without a sighted guide” – David Okeugo
I met him in the bus without a sighted guide, we had a blind date and I wondered the amount of courage that moved him from Umuahia to Ibadan. This is a ritual that he has constantly and consistently engaged in for the past four years.
That day, I got more than inspired!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Osho Samuel Adetunji is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from Nigeria’s premier University, University of Ibadan. He is a budding poet, a blogger, a Public Speaker, with a knack for short stories, inspirational articles and poems. He is a great thinker, creative and dexterous young man who does not only believe in excellence but also extols the tenets of discipline, hard work and effectiveness. You can follow him on IG and Twitter with the handle, @inisamosho