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How I managed to survive, sponsor my education – Kano PWD

Twenty-eight-year-old Musa Abdussalam Bichi, a resident of Tudun Maliki area of Kumbotso Local Government, is a Person With Disability (PWD) living an extraordinary life amidst…

Twenty-eight-year-old Musa Abdussalam Bichi, a resident of Tudun Maliki area of Kumbotso Local Government, is a Person With Disability (PWD) living an extraordinary life amidst challenges that very few in his condition can withstand. 

At a time when Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) are shying away from activities mainly carried out by the able-bodied, this young man sees no difference and strives to be equal with everybody.

Coming from a poor and less privileged family, with little or no support to achieve his dreams, this young man saw no reason to participate and succeed academically and otherwise. But today, he is a graduate of Islamic studies from the Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina State.

Speaking about his academic journey, he told Daily Trust that his love for education fuelled his quest to attend schools like every other child until he graduated in the year 2023.

He said, “Whenever a person is said to be living with disability, people look down on him. They think he cannot do any thing. For me, it’s different. From a very tender age, I’ve always loved education. I am the only cripple in my family and at the same time, the only person with a degree certificate. 

“We are 13 in number; six older siblings and I am the seventh son. I attended Unguwar Gano Special Primary and Secondary School. After my secondary school education, I went to the Kano State Polytechnic.

“My father earlier supported me wholeheartedly. He asked people to take me to school but sometimes I was left to go alone until I became strong enough to do it alone.

“I started studying Mass Communication at the Kano State Polytechnic before I wrote JAMB a year after and got admission into the Federal University Dutsinma. It came with so many challenges. At that time, things were hard for my family. No one could afford it; the semester had gone midway and there was no money.

“I can recall that I was transported to Katsina in the trunk of a car with my bicycle. I finished 100 level without any problem. I don’t come back home until after semester break.”

Speaking about ability in disability, he said the opportunity he got has opened his eyes the more as well opened more doors for him in becoming who he is today.

“The best thing that happened to me was leaving my state in search of education, meanwhile around the school, there were PWDs busy begging. 

“I was the only person with disability in the entire school. I was fortunate to have little support and understanding from my classmates and lecturers. Wherever I go, they assist in pushing my wheelchair. And when it comes to being on a queue, they allow me to pass.

“People often offer help but not financial. I can recall that whenever we were to pay school fees, we find it difficult. Myself and my father had to sell a plot of land to sponsor my education and we paid per semester. That’s how I managed to scale through.

When asked about school life and relationships, he said despite his condition, many female folks in the university had offered to be in a relationship with him but he never responded or gave in for fear of losing track of his reason for being in school.

“Sure, life is good. Normal people with legs, especially females, offered relationship but I didn’t give them a chance due to my situation and you know, everyone needs to know where he or she is coming from.

“I didn’t have a chance to be in a relationship because matters of the heart are very sensitive and could hardly be controlled. I found it very difficulty paying my school fees, what will a relationship do for me? I may lose track. Honestly, I remained focused on what took me there.

He urged People With Disabilities (PWDs) not to see themselves as marginalized but to strive to be better by the day. He also called on the government to assist people like him in setting the pace and examples as there’s special ability in every disability.

“Government should try in assisting people like us to be self reliant, especially in the area of education. God so kind, we have special powers that can be harvested. 

“We can actually do those jobs they feel we cannot do. Don’t say you cannot do it. You can do it. Ignorance is a disease. Begging and sitting at home is not the solution. We can become whatever we dream of becoming.”

Bichi is currently a youth corps member, serving the nation as a mandatory requirement by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). His service year will come to an end by November 2024.

 

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