BECOME A FRIEND OF FEDERAL NIGERIA SOCIETY FOR THE BLIND.
Offer personal or cooperate service by donation of skills, time, products etc. to the Society
and our Vocational Training Center(VTC).
The society prepares trainees to be self-employed, it also solicits employment opportunities with organizations and governments where the skills learnt could be put into effective use. Follow-up visits are made to ex-trainees and those requiring assistance are helped within the limit of the resources of the society...
Moulding machine crushed my skull, the aspiring blind rapper narrated.
On December 11th 2013, I had an industrial accident which led to my blindness. I am Andrew Udofia, a 28 year old man who was employed as an utility worker at Amsad Industries, Lakowe Ajah. In this firm, we produced paving stone and concrete blocks.
On the fateful day, I was instructed to clear the waste from a molding machine which was just repaired. While I bent to do that, someone went to power the machine not knowing I was there.
“All I knew was that the machine crushed my skull and one of my eye ball fell from the eye-socket immediately. I was unconscious for over 42days.”
After being admitted in the hospital for over eight months, eventually, I lost my both sight
Life was miserable to me. I never thought I can do anything meaningful again not until I was told to go for rehabilitation at the Vocational Training Center for the Blind Oshodi.
Today, while I reside and undergo rehabilitation at the blind school, I have come to realize nothing is capable of stopping me from achieving what I dreamt of. I am fully hopeful that through my music lessons, learning musical instruments, my dream of becoming a musical producer as well as a rapper is undoubted
If not for the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind, what will be my hope, Andrew said.
My name is Olafemi Samson Bolaji. I was born into a family of three girls and I am the only boy. I graduated in Sociology from the University of Ilorin in 2002 and did my NYSC afterwards.
I got my first job with Avondale the Thistle at Apapa Lagos State as their Supervisor, seven months after I got my present job with a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Health.
May 2006, on my way travelling to Abuja by road, between Kabba and Okenne I was attacked by armed robbers who shot at the vehicle and I was hit in the eyes. After visiting so many Eyes Specialist Hospitals in Nigeria, I was advised to go abroad for a second opinion. I went to South Africa where I had a surgery and I was able to see and could move around without a guide. I returned to Nigeria in December, 2006 and resumed back to work in January 2007. However due to environment conditions in Nigeria such as dust (among other factors), my vision began to deteriorate until I could no longer see.
I came to the Vocational Training Centre for the Blind Oshodi in 2012 where I was able to undergo special training to deal with the challenges of being visually impaired, mobility and computer training.
I have been able to resume back to my place of work as an Administrative officer after my training at VTC Oshodi. I have also written two promotional exams using the computer and I did very well. I can go to the bank and move around on my own with little or no assistance.
I obtained my OND in Business Administration from Osun State Polythenic Iree. On the morning of 30th December 2011, while going for my morning prayer, acid was poured on me by an admirer whose advances I had refused to acknowledge and that was how I lost both eyes. After I was discharged from LASUTH, I felt hopeless as I could not believe my new status. From being able to do things myself, I became dependent on people for almost everything. In my bid to better my life, I heard of the Vocational Training Center in Oshodi and apply. It becomes the turning point in my life as I was taught to accept my condition and also my belief was motivated that losing my sight wasn’t the end of life. At the Center, I was taught how to weave bags, use thread for sandals, make air fresheners and above all learnt how to read and write in braille and mobility.
I finished my secondary school in 2007 and sat for JAMB in the same year. I wanted to study medicine and surgery before I was diagnosed with glaucoma in November 2007.My parents tried everything possible to treat the ailment but all to no avail. All my plans to further my education were seemingly futile. After so much efforts, an aunty of mine introduce the society and later enroll to the center in January 2013.It was difficult for me to cope at the beginning with the school time table and their activities, but at the end of two weeks at the center, I began to enjoy the beautiful visions of the center both in class where we are taught computing, typewriting and barille
I was a student at the Vocational Training Center Oshodi in 2012 where I enrolled for a year advance programme. My coming to the center was sequel to my loss of sight in year 2010 after obtaining my Law degree from University of Ibadan. I came to the center optimistic and eager to learn to survive and cope with the challenges associated with visual impairment. I learnt amongst other things reading and writing in braille, use of computer with the help of speech software and mobility to name a few.
Life was good when I became the acting MD of the bank I worked for. With an MBA and 18 years of progressive banking experience, the future seemed bright. One day, as I was driving with my children at the back, I drove into an object on the road and my children asked “Mummy, why did you drive into it, didn’t you see it?” That was when I realised my vision was fading away. I honestly did not see the big carton!
I sought for help and went from hospital to hospital. I sold my houses to raise money for a trip to India. Unfortunately, on the date of the proposed trip, my eyesight plunged into a hopeless situation, negating the need for the trip. Within less than a year, I was reduced to penury and became poor. Friends and family deserted me. I became miserable. However, I thank God for my children and twin sister who stood by me and encouraged me.
As we were listening to the radio one day, my sister said I could do a better job at it than the presenter on the radio. She encouraged me to enroll at the Broadcasting Corporation which I did. I decided to learn Braille and was told about the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind where I enrolled for a year. There, I learned new skills such as tie-dye, weaving of bags, basket weaving, shoe-making, bead-making in addition to music, typing, drama and sports.
Since the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind is a boarding institution, it was good to be around others who had been afflicted with blindness too. There were young and middle aged people there and the staff made it easy for us to cope. Coping with blindness is not easy, but with the right encouragement, I have learned to see beyond my limitations and get on with life. Seven years after losing my sight, I now have a successful business selling crafts and work as a Consultant to various Ministries and Skills Acquisition Centres, teaching both the physically challenged and the sighted, men and women how to make crafts.
Life is good again and I am happy. My children are doing well in University and I thank God for their success. My boys have also been helpful in assisting my business. Weekend after weekend, I am always invited to pop-up sales at various locations. At one event organised by Lagos State, I even sold a handmade bag to Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture. I have also developed a motivational programme for radio and look forward to helping to lift up many more from depression.
Become A Friend Of Federal Nigeria Society For The Blind