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A DAY NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN 20.10.20

May the souls of the departed Rest in Peace🙏🏽

We remember you our heroes 🙏🏽❤

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Women With Disabilities: The Challenges They Face In Finding And Keeping A Partner.

Written by Abednego Noris

Oct 19, 2022, 9:00 AM

Finding a partner (someone to date or marry;) is like trying to pass a camel through the eye of a needle; how much more so when you are a lady with a disability.

“I have not always been a blind person. I lost my sight in 2009.” Sugar Girl tells me.

(We joke about how she is younger than me in the blindness world. 😊)

Tomisin Adeyefa (AKA Sugar Girl), is a broadcaster, sound engineer, and voiceover artist, amongst her other talents.

  1. Were you in a relationship when you lost your sight?

“I was a young teenager, around sixteen or seventeen at the time. So, there was no way I could have been dating at that time.”

“Meeting people online is one of the easiest tasks to carry out as a person with disability. “

But, for a blind person, it can be unpredictable sometimes.

On some days, you wow your friends online. Sometimes, they ghost you once you have discussed your disability.

“Many times, when I get chatty online, people don’t believe that I am a blind person behind my keypads. Many of them think that once you are blind, you most likely have no sense. Some of them think that I am trying to scare them away!”

We both laughed at this discovery because I have equally experienced this.

On a normal day, I would have sent them away. So, when I throw that bombshell, it’s usually like, “You have been wanting to scare me away! I said I am not going nowhere!”

When we eventually meet, for the few ones that I have met after a beautiful conversation online, I don’t let them come over to my place, I go over. They are often shocked when I can properly describe where I am at that moment!

How would you say that you are blind and that you know that you are close to a particular restaurant or bus stop?

There are also misconceptions about how blind people should look. That, however, is a myth.

  1. How do they feel when you finally meet them?

When they finally meet me and ask us to find a place to sit, I ask them to hold my hand, and that’s when it hits them.

Or, perhaps, after I’ve been seated and placed my order, and I ask them to summon the waiter, they go so far as to ask, “How do you drink juice as a blind person?”

We both laughed because I’d never heard this joke before.

“I don’t know if blind people aren’t supposed to enjoy life as well. “

“After that, some of them would flee.”

“Some of them would pretend to want to stay because they don’t want to offend your sensibility at that time; they believe that if they let you know at that time, they will hurt your feelings.

For a few days, they will act like they’re staying, and then they’ll start misbehaving, so you’ll have no choice but to tell them to leave you alone. “

“There is also the category of people who will no longer ask you out but will eventually become your friends as you grow closer. “

  1. Great. Could you share an example?

I still remember this guy who had been asking me out for a while, and I asked him what had happened.

“He was on my matter o! Like, really on my matter.”

“It was then he told me that he feels he is a playboy and so, if he goes on with his intentions, I would get hurt.”

“Heeheee! Blind people too dey do playgirl o!”, she exclaims in Pidgin English.

“He believes that when dating someone who has a disability, his religious upbringing comes into play because he is reminded of what the holy book says.”

However, these considerations are less likely to come up when dating someone without a disability.

  • One persistent myth about people with disabilities is that they are ignorant of the world outside of the four walls of a classroom.

This is entirely inaccurate. The reality is, excluding them from discussions involving sex and other matters of the heart will do you more harm than good.

  • There’s also the matter of the concern of what your friends, who do not have physical disabilities, might say.

This is quite understandable, given that society is gradually coming out of its shell when it comes to people with disabilities.

The good news here is that, despite these issues, there have been a significant number of successful relationships and marriages involving women with disabilities.

“I met the man I’m currently with on social media. We began as friends and have since blossomed into a lovely relationship. We sometimes joke that one day I’ll confess to him that I can actually see and was just pulling his legs.” (Laughs)

  • People without disabilities often worry about how they will have great sex with a blind woman.

Let me remind you that the problem is with the eyes, not the privates.

  1. Do blind ladies have sex? Like proper sex.

“Very wellllll! And they enjoy it!”, she tells me, speaking slowly so that I can take it all in (as if it were a brand-new fact that I am trying to discover).

“However, Abednego, we live in a society where information is not readily available to many of us, and the first time for some of us was traumatic. “

“I have discovered that sex education for a lot of blind ladies is a challenge. ”

“However, blind women who are open-minded and have a good man will give you a run for your money. “

“They’ll ride you to the moon and back!” adds Sugar Girl.

  1. What are three common misconceptions about blind ladies.

They can’t take control of the home

“A lot of men are worried about how a blind woman would manage the house. “

“Would she do it like her fellow women? Would she blow my mind? “

“Trust me, these are things we do on a regular basis. “

  • You have to bring forth offspring.

“There is the belief that women who can’t see wouldn’t be able to push like others. Let me assure you that this is not the case.”

  • She can’t be wife material.

“It’s funny how my blindness has never prevented me from carrying out my responsibilities as a visually impaired woman. So, why should there ever be any doubt about whether or not I can deliver? I cook great meals. And this is something we do effortlessly. “

Sugar Girl is also a sex therapist and a sex coach for women with disabilities.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

To gain a better understanding of this, I spoke with a friend of mine who uses a wheelchair.

Biose Falade, among her many skills, is a writer and an advocate for disability rights.

  1. How did your disability come about?

“When I was six months old, I contracted viral meningoencephalitis, which resulted in a brain attack that put me in a coma for six weeks.”

  1. What’s the proper way to address people in wheelchairs?

“Call us wheelchair users; if I come across another name, I’ll let you know.”

  1. What do people think of you when they meet you in person?

“Well, most people who meet me do so because I am a very vocal person. I am not a quiet person.”

“My secondary and university years were when I had the majority of my relationships.

When I graduated from university, I decided to focus on my job, which was advocating for people with disabilities. Advocating for these needs requires my 100% attention. “

She believes that the people she was with at the time did not truly love her.

“There was the huddle of other girls saying I wasn’t enough for the guy. Or the guy’s mother accusing me of controlling her son… “

“Not because her son was doing badly, but because he was doing better in life. “

  1. How many relationships did you get into at that time?

“Let me see, I’d say five real ones.”

  1. So, for you, would you say none of them loved you?

The fact that we are currently apart suggests that none of their claims to have loved me were true.

  1. You’re dedicated a hundred percent to your job. Is this a consolation prize?

“This is not a consolation prize. This is what I want to do with my life. This is what I am basically here for.”

  1. Do you ever get worried about not being married?

“No! I’m comfortable with it. Don’t get me wrong when I say I am comfortable with it though.

I mean, if along the way, the God for whom I work says that’s fine, I’ll gladly accept it! But, as long as it involves the lives of many people, which I cannot risk, let this be the status quo. “

  1. What are the top three misconceptions that people have about wheelchair-using women in general?
  1. Assumption:

“Even though they haven’t spoken to you or met you in person, they believe there are many things you can’t do.

  1. Discrimination.

“It’s one thing for the guy to make assumptions; it’s quite another for the entire society to then dictate what you, a young woman with a disability, are capable of. To them, you can’t cook or sweep! I mean, those who are unable to do so can actually pay others to do it for them!”

Others erroneously believe that you can’t have children.

  1. Our SelfEsteem:

“Some of us who live with disabilities are afraid to take bold steps because we don’t believe we deserve better.”

In conclusion, Biose advises society not to be judgmental but rather to give women with disabilities opportunities to thrive and excel.

Abednego Jacob AKA. Abednego Noris; is a singer, songwriter, broadcaster and the First Blind African Rapper. Amongst many other of his talents. He is a person with disability (blind) who believes in equality for all and proper advocacy for persons with disability. Abednego strongly believes that everyone’s voice must be heard regardless of their disabilities. You can follow Abednego on Instagram @abednego_noris

Nikkyosblog specially appreciates Tomisin Adeyefa and Biose Falade for their time. Thanks for sharing a lot with us in this session.

You can follow @sugargirl_adeyefa on Instagram

You can follow @biosedeyemi on Instagram

All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, broadcast, written, published, or distributed in full or in parts, without the written permission from Nikkyosblog.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a way to raise awareness and end the stigma about domestic violence, and most importantly speak up and offer resources to anyone you think may be in an abusive relationship.

The phrase ‘Domestic Violence’ does not only mean physical abuse, it also includes psychological abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse. It is important to recognise that domestic violence impacts millions of people and it’s not only women who are victims; many men suffer domestic violence as well.

No one deserves to be subjected to such victimization in any kind of relationship. Walk away from such relationships. You have nothing to be ashamed of. The abuse you suffered is not your fault and you didn’t deserve to be treated that way.

People who have experienced domestic violence are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing mental health conditions. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please speak up! You are not alone. You can reach out to your loved ones, mental health professionals, domestic violence resource centers etc.

I stand in accord with every survivor of Domestic violence and also honoring the memory of the beautiful lives that were taken by their abuser.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

October is breast cancer awareness month. This month aims to increase awareness of the disease. About one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their life time. There’s a good chance of recovery if it’s detected in its early stages. It is very important that women check their breasts regularly for any changes and always get any changes examined by their Doctor.

Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. Most breast lumps aren’t cancerous, but it’s always best to have checked by your doctor. You should also see your doctor if you notice any of the following:

After examining your breasts, your doctor may refer you to a specialist breast cancer clinic for further tests. This might include breast screening (mammography) or a biopsy. In rare cases, Men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Check out this link (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer-in-men/ ) to read about breast cancer in men, how breast cancer is diagnosed etc.

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Blog Interviews

Nobody has to go through something they do not know or cannot name – Susan Agbor

Speaking to us today on Nikkyo’s blog is Susan Agbor.

Susan Ema Agbor is a marketing professional and mental health awareness and inclusion advocate. She is passionate about business development and making a difference in the mental health sector through social enterprise. She enjoys swimming, watching movies, listening to music, and being outside in nature. Susan Agbor talks about her postpartum mental health experience and the initiatives she is engaged in to support women dealing with similar experiences.

1. As stated in your introduction, you are a marketer. How did you become involved in mental health advocacy?

Mental health is a very critical part of human existence but is sadly ignored in this part of the world.

From my personal experience to my passion for giving back, mental health is just the answer to show, help, and encourage Nigerian society to take their mental health seriously.

2. Why mental health?

My experience after childbirth

I had three of the four postpartum mental illnesses, and I didn’t even know what I was going through at the time; I just knew I was in an invisible, unnamed pain and couldn’t help myself or explain what I was feeling.

When I started working as a volunteer for the Postpartum Support Network (PSN), years after it had happened, I finally realized what it was.

PSN is an NGO that provides pregnant women and new mothers with education and medical support.

My second reason is that nobody has to go through something they do not know or cannot name, and this happens in mental health because of inadequate awareness, low acceptance by society, and the stigma around mental health issues in Nigeria.

The Nigerian community cannot have too many centers of awareness for mental health; it’s too important to leave it be. We need to slowly and magically erase the bias and stigma surrounding the issue, and warm society into accepting that mental care is as important as physical care.

3: Before you experienced three out of these four issues, how much of a mental health person were you?

I always knew I would do charity; I like to think it’s my purpose.

But before my experience, I didn’t know what direction it would take, and even after that, I wasn’t sure until I started volunteering for PSN, at which point mental health grew on me, and I began to feel obligated. I began to genuinely care for people with mental health issues, and I also began to do what I could in my circle and surroundings.

4. How has the importance you place on mental health shaped you?

Hmmm … I never imagined putting words together about this.

This has taught me that anyone, including myself, can be vulnerable, and that the first step in dealing with people is to be kind.

People are going through so much mentally, even if they don’t say it. It’s just proper to always be kind.

5. What’s a typical day like for you?

Hmmm. I have a 9-5 and I work in advertising, marketing, and project management. That’s my background. I spend my evenings and weekends working on bringing my NGO to life. That’s all I can say about that for now.

6. You are the head of operations at your office. What does it feel like to be a leader, especially as a woman?

 Leadership is a gift and an opportunity to serve. My team is mostly male, so it’s as challenging as it sounds. But it’s eye-opening and an opportunity to grow because you just need to keep things going while also proving your capability.

7. What are five tips you hold dear as a leader?

1.  Be patient: don’t be hasty to react to things or draw conclusions.

2. Reward effort always

3. Take the fall for mistakes

4. Be accessible

5. Be caring.

8. What woman/women inspire you?

1.   Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Facebook and Author.

2.   Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global and co-founder of Huffington post.

3.    Fela Durotoye, Leadership Coach (I know he is not a woman, but yes).

9. What makes you a phenomenal woman?

I am a learner, a caregiver, and a giver.

10. What’s next for you in your mental health journey and helping others grow?

The following six months are critical. I am on a mission to establish an all-around mental health awareness outreach and fundraising NGO. This platform I am creating will give me the leverage to lead people on their mental health journey.

Nikkyosblog specially appreciates Susan Agbor for her time and for sharing a lot with us in this session.
You can follow her on Instagram @sue_agbor 💕

All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, broadcast, written, published, or distributed in full or in parts, without the written permission from Nikkyosblog.