For Mr and Mrs Nurudeen Hussein, a physically challenged couple, who engage in the manufacturing of household disinfectants and the sale of engine oil, the road has been very rough.
Mr Nurudeen was said to have developed his disability through an ailment at the age of five. He later attended primary school and Muhyideen Arabic College, Ilorin before he was presented with the opportunity to participate in a training programme of the Nigerian Directorate of Employment (NDE).
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However, the determination not to beg for survival has kept them going and slowly but steadily, the recognition and limelight is coming.
The couple was identified and rewarded by Gobir Foundation as the Hero of the Month during its fourth edition of the award programme held in Ilorin. The honour came with a cash reward of N100,000
The head, Media and Publicity of the foundation, Mrs Khadijat Eyitanwa Lawal, said they selected Mr Nurudeen as hero of the month because of his determination not to beg in the face of his disability with a wife and three children to cater for.
“The gesture is aimed to encourage him to improve his trade and take proper care of his wife, who is also physically challenged and their three children.
“We came across the story of the disabled couple and we conducted our investigation on it. They are both physically challenged and chose not to beg. This is a big lesson. Many people are physically okay but decide to beg. This couple here are doing well and happy. And we feel happy that we’re not wasting our money”, she added.
Speaking about their plight, the beneficiary, who was appreciative of the gesture, said he hoped to expand his business, get a shop and train others.
“I have gone through a lot but due to determination to be something in life, I have been keeping on because I don’t want to beg. I also thank my guardian and my wife especially for believing in me and her resolve not to also beg. I want my children to be educated to be responsible citizens of this country and be greater than me”, he noted.
Also speaking, the guardian of the couple and manager, News and Current Affairs with the NTA Ilorin, Mrs Iyabode Olorunsola, narrated how she met them.
“I came across Nurudeen one day and I decided to give him money but he refused to take it despite his disability.
“Then my journalistic instinct arose to know how he survives. I did a report on him for the Newsline and some money was raised for him. Since then we’ve been in touch just to see the children are doing well. The wife too was abandoned as a child. God just made their path to cross through the association of physically challenged people in the state. The wife has no limbs.
“The amazing thing is that he produces domestic items like insecticide, air freshener, vaseline wax of a high quality, and very effective. We use his products in our office likewise many others who cannot do without his products. And he’s a contented person”, she added.
She called on others with disability and able-bodied citizens who decided to take begging as a profession to emulate the couple instead of resigning to fate.