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  • Features
  • Updated: September 21, 2022

Nigeria Does Not Have Provisions For PWD Students — Shona

Nigeria Does Not Have Provisions For PWD Students — Shona

Blessing Omowunmi aka Shona

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Francis Ezediuno
Francis Ezediuno

Francis Ezediuno is a journalist who is self thought on application of social media in news gatherin...

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Her name is Blessing Omowumi and on the campus of The Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State, she is popularly known as Shona.

She has Muscular Dystrophy but she believes herself to be a ‘warrior’ and she means business.

In this exclusive chat with AllNews Nigeria, Shona reveals how she has coped with academic activities while living life in a wheelchair.

Who Shona Is

Blessing Omowunmi aka Shona

My name is Blessing Omowumi and I'm known as Shona on my social media platforms. I’m an OND holder and I studied Nutrition and Dietetics at Federal Polytechnic, Ibadan.

I’m a freelance copywriter and story writer.

Muscular Dystrophy

I'm a person living with a disability. Specifically, I’m a Muscular Dystrophy warrior. Muscular Dystrophy means gradual weakness of the muscles in the body.

Living With Muscular Dystrophy And Studying In The Higher Institution

It has been challenging indeed. Life as a person living with a disability while studying in Nigeria is hard. We are having hardship in multiple folds.

Challenges

First of all, Nigeria doesn’t have provisions for PWD students.

Let’s start with rough roads on and off campus. They cause lots of body pains, especially going through such roads with a wheelchair on a daily basis.

Also, there are no ramps for wheelchair users. When I was in ND1, my class was upstairs. There are staircases but no ramps.

When I get to the building, I’d have to call on three guys and they would carry me with my wheelchair up the stairs. Same thing after class.

We often also need to go from class to the laboratory or kitchen and still return to class. At the same time, no accessible public toilet in the school.

I don’t eat to classes so that I would not need to use the toilet and there are days that it is inevitable, so I’d have to leave campus for that day, go to my hostel to sort myself out.

Laws For People With Disabilities (PWDs)

There are PWD laws.

Nigeria has the discrimination against persons living with disability (prohibition) act 2018, which makes provision for the inclusiveness of education in Nigeria among others.

But they are not being implemented.

Reaching Out To The Management Of The Institution

Well, I did reach out to my department president immediately after I found out that my class was upstairs. I requested for my set to have a change of class. We were just resuming then.

It was turned down and I kept pestering them and the department heard about it. They promised to work on it.

The permission to change the class finally came when I was already getting ready for my ND 1 second semester exam.

It was of no use anymore.

A Content Writer

I write articles for blogs on a freelance. I write selling copy ads for businesses too.

And I also write storybooks and novels (I do disability advocacy with this because most of my stories are related to that).

Work Reception

Well, my works (stories in this regard) are well accepted and I am very well accepted too. In all my stay in school, I never faced any discriminating moment.

Challenges Encountered In Ede

It will most probably repeat itself because it’s almost the same in all Nigerian institutions but I will try to avoid it as much as possible and also take extra measures in correcting some this time around.

Government/NGO Intervention

I didn’t receive anything from the government, only NGOs and individuals.

Encouragement For PWDs

Okay, that’s what I do on my Facebook profile; encouraging young warriors to learn how to be happy and positive even in the face of challenges.

And not to hide because their disability is a strength and not a weakness

The Nigerian government should help us look into the matter concerning persons living with disabilities.

 

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Francis Ezediuno
Francis Ezediuno

Francis Ezediuno is a journalist who is self thought on application of social media in news gatherin...

More From this Author

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