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Meet blind newspaper vendor bracing the odds

Sanusi Hakeem Olukorede, a blind vendor, came to the limelight recently when a Twitter user uploaded a video in which he was wandering about with…

Sanusi Hakeem Olukorede, a blind vendor, came to the limelight recently when a Twitter user uploaded a video in which he was wandering about with copies of newspapers around Akowonjo and Egbeda in Lagos.

Despite his visual impairment, the drive to make ends meet and provide for his family must have pushed him into the business to the amazement of many Nigerians.

Daily Trust gathered that Olukorede, who believes in ability in disability, had passion for entrepreneurship.

When our correspondent met him at Egbeda where he was ‘plying his trade, Olukorede recalled with nostalgia how he became blind at his furniture workshop about five years ago. 

From Egbeda where he resides, he strolls around the vicinity of the community in Alimosho Local Government Area despite his condition to sell national dailies.

He said many of his family members had tried to stop him from doing the business due to his condition, but he remains resolute because he is not ready to become a liability to the family.

He has mastered all his routes as he walks around the vicinity without any walking stick to the admiration of people that see him going about his business.

 “I used to be a furniture maker. I became blind about four, five years ago in my workshop. I was told what happened to me was glaucoma which could not be operated upon,” he said.

“Since then, I stopped going to the workshop and became a newspaper vendor. This is what I have been doing after I lost my sight,” he added.

“My family members have always prevented me from selling newspapers around because of my condition. But I don’t think I am ready to stop because I don’t want to be a liability to my family. I also have three children to cater for. I don’t want relatives and friends to shoulder my responsibilities.”

His colleague at the furniture workshop, Ntiedo Ekefre, who spoke with our correspondent described Olukorede’s loss of sight as mysterious and solicited for assistance for him from well-meaning Nigerians.

 “He came to work one day. That was about four to five years ago and complained about his eyes. That was what happened, since then all efforts to regain his sight have proved abortive,” Ekefre said.

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