54. Celestine

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I can say that I am always happy because of the sickness that I passed through for so many years, but still I am alive today. So I can say that every day is the happiest day for me.


It all happened when I was 30 years old. I started feeling pains in my legs. The pain became so severe that I was taken to Kolebu Teaching Hospital. I stayed there for nearly two years and the doctor decided to amputate my legs. But my mother refused, that she would not like my legs to be amputated. So the doctor became annoyed and discharged me. That’s all how it came about. When I was brought home, my parents did not go through any other treatment, except that my church members came to me to offer prayers.

When I was cured, sometimes I’d lean against a pole. I used crutches to walk. But the most difficult time for me was barely two years ago, the day I was trying to use the crutches to get up and I couldn’t. That was the most difficult time for me and since then I haven’t used the crutches to walk.

My disability has really affected my life negatively. Because even children come and look at me and laugh at me and say certain things that I was not expecting concerning my disability. So these things make me frustrated sometimes. But my disability did not affect my relationship with my family.

What do you understand to be the biggest barriers for people who have disabilities?

To me, the greatest barrier is the relegation by society. The disabled are generally relegated by society, unlike, as I said, my families don’t relegate me. But most of the disabled are relegated.

What can we do to improve the lives of people who are relegated like that, particularly those who have disabilities?

What I can say now is to pray for people like you, who are championing our cause, that God should give you the strength to do the work and lobby for us.

What do you do when you meet another person with a disability?

I will only encourage, advise that person, that he is not the only disabled person, so he or she should take heart and accommodate whatever situation he or she finds herself in.

What is your best ability?

Formerly, I’d do everything. I’d cook myself. But now because of the weakness in my arm, I can’t do anything. Even food – people have to cook for me.

What is your happiest experience?

I can say that I am always happy because of the sickness that I passed through for so many years, but still I am alive today. So I can say that every day is the happiest day for me.


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