Rising against all odds! Gbenga Daniel’s son reflects on being confined to a wheelchair at age five
From being looked down upon following his being physically challenged to rising above the stigma with the realisation that the power to crave the life he envisions lies within his very grip, Adebola Irede Daniel one of the sons of former Ogun State governor, Gbenga Daniel who made massive headlines recently for bagging a Masters with distinction in Mechanical Engineering from the University College London, tells his journey to success.
“I was born into a very comfortable home, with both amazing parents and without a disability. However, when I turned 5, I was diagnosed with paraplegia- a rare condition with no medical clarity.
I became confined to a wheelchair. Growing up in Nigeria, I unconsciously associated disability to poverty and crime due to amputated beggars on the streets mostly as a result of Sharia Law practised in the North.
This was the general opinion of most Nigerians in my social circle as a child. Having myself become physically challenged, I was exposed to the stigma and assumptions that came with being ‘disabled’. All of a sudden, I was looked at with pity, with judgment and sometimes with resentment by my fellow countrymen.
As I became an adult, I began to realise that the onus was on me to make something of myself and create my life and future the way I envision it. My future was, and would always be in my own hands.”
Overjoyed with Adebola’s achievement, his proud father, Otunba Gbenga Daniel in a press statement signed by his media aide, Steve Oliyide, said:
“Today, I am a very happy man and all should join me in praising God tomorrow for his blessing and protection in spite of all odds. Ask me why? Amongst other reasons, my physically challenged son Adebola Daniel just got a Distinction in his M Sc Mechanical Engineering at UCL.
Adebola became paraplegic at age 5 but went on to become the best student in his career even amongst the physically fit. He chooses a most tedious course of study, bagged a BSc Mech Engr. from University of SURREY and went on to UCL for his Masters.
Despite the mental torture from colleagues and frequent flashes of OGD in the dock, Adebola did what he had to do. He is one of the most efficient automotive Drivers that I know. He has made me proud. Join me in shouting Halelujah.” He said.
One lesson learnt, you have the power to create the life you want – Only you can make it happen!