38. Kojo Ano

Participant 43

When I see my male counterparts walking, it makes me sad because I wish I could be like them. That is my saddest moment. When I’m sad, the only way I can be happy is to watch television. The remedy for my happiness is television.


My disability started at childhood. I have no idea how. My father says, when I was two or three years old, I was sick with smallpox. I was taken to the hospital, but it didn’t work. After that, I got paralyzed. That’s how it started. I was not operated upon. I was given some herbal medicines to drink. They slaughtered fowls, and they poured the blood on the herbs before they prepared it. The meat, they didn’t take that. They used only the blood, and then cooked it for me to drink. I had no improvement then. I wasn’t sent any place after that.

Walking from here to the school was difficult. I stopped at the age of seven years.

From seven years on, some of the major problems is obviously that I crawl. I have become very stagnant in life because crawling from one place to another is difficult. When I see my age-mates going from one place to another or even going to school, it pains me so much. I feel like I am apart of them, and I feel like I should join them in school.

We don’t have a place of convenience here for using the bathroom. We relieve ourselves in a nearby refuge dump. Since mobility is a problem, whenever they are away to the farm and I feel like easing myself, I am unable to. I am tempted to crawl to the refugee dump, which is not very good. That’s where people ease themselves in the community. My hands will collect feces.

There is a public latrine around, but someone like me who crawls on the ground, just imagine. There’s urine all over the place. I go through all of these things.

I go through public mockery. People give me all sorts of names. They mock my family as well. They see us as cursed. Living with a person like me, it’s difficult for people to come near them. Because they see us differently.

What is your hope or wish for life?

I need to get a wheelchair, so that when people are going, then I can join. If people are going to Church, then I could go. I wish I could be in a public gathering. I wish to be part, but by the time I cross to the place, my whole body is dirty. I wish I had a wheelchair that would aid my mobility.

I need a little capital to establish myself in front of the house. My wish is that I could get an accommodation too. I don’t have a place to sleep. Where I sleep is very crowded. I share with my siblings. If there is any epidemic, I am affected.

What are your happiest times, and what are your most difficult times?

When I watch football, this is the only source of my entertainment – television. When I watch football, I become happy. It is is the only way I become happy. I have to crawl from here to somebody’s house. It’s not easy to allow me to enter someone’s house. I wish I had my own television, so then I would be entertained.

When I see my male counterparts walking, it makes me sad because I wish I could be like them. That is my saddest moment. When I’m sad, the only way I can be happy is to watch television. The remedy for my happiness is television.


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