If one is visiting our cities and towns for the first time and very observant, the only disabled people one is likely to see are the crippled or mental health patients – this is because quite a lot of people in this category live on our roadsides. These are the lucky ones, others die mysteriously during the early years.
Photos below show a 19 year old Kano lady whose younger brother is tasked to carrying her around the city to collect alms. Both recently have been spotted by good Samaritans, the lady received a wheel chair and promise of education for the boy.
This is an uplifting story.
Very likely the young woman has been used for alms begging since she was little. Nothing about the parents was shared. Was the mother sitting around the corner keeping eye on them? Or was she at home looking after other siblings? The father? Oh well.
This woman is in the north. I am not sure what the stereotypes about disability are in the north, however, given the huge number of people incapacitated by polio and the commonly accepted alms begging culture, I assume folks up north are a bit more tolerant with disability (I could be wrong her).
In the SW, dealing with a disabled family member is not easy on everyone in the family. Not because of the disability itself but because of so many people telling different tales of what they think cause the disability.
If the parents are the type that goes from one miracle church to another aka TB Joshua type church – they are likely going to spend every kobo they earned casting out devil. If that doesn’t work, any elderly ladies in the family are likely to be labelled witches therefore they are likely going to turn everyone that could help to enemy.
Hopefully, this act of kindness extended to the lady and her brother will inspire many more people to be nice to disabled around us.