The Deaf Farm Boy: New Literature Book Seeks Better Education For Disabled Children
Written By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu, Canada
Disabled Children now have a voice through a new literature book; The Deaf Farm Boy.
The book chronicles the travails of a little Egba boy who was written off as useless after becoming deaf at age 12 due to a near fatal fire accident.
When Mogan village, Ogun State-born William Olubodun had a near-fatal fire accident in the early 1970s, his parents were grateful to God for sparing his life.
Their gratitude later gave way to sorrow as prolonged prescription of antibiotics by his doctor at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital rendered him permanently deaf.
Abandoned at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, for eights months after which his people expected him to make farming and alms begging his means of livelihood.
Fate propelled him through life as strangers came to his aid. Today he is a PhD holder and newly retired as a Senior Staff of United States Immigration Service.
A literature book woven around his life struggles and seeking attention for disabled children, clearly shows how fate can rewrite an ugly story in a matter of seconds.
Wesley School for the Deaf, courtesy a missionary, Mrs Bell, and headmistress, late Mrs Adelogbe moulded Olubodun’s life to a glorified point.
He was enrolled in the school situated in Surulere area of Lagos. He dazzled his family and teachers with his brilliance. He soon passed through the school in a blaze of glory.
William and some of his equally brilliant classmates gained admission to Methodist Boys High School, where they all performed creditably well.
There was a dead end after the Wesley primary education. Providence again smiled on Olubodun through unsolicited benefactor. That saw him through MBHS.
Still thirsty for further education against his father’s advice to return to the village and start farming, Olubodun one day went alone to the Ogun State Military Administrator, Harry Eghagha’s office and begged for scholarship.
The MILAD at first wondered how scholarship could be useful to a deaf boy. He changed his mind after seeing Olubodun’s WAEC result and granted his request.
Olubodun then proceeded to the United States of America where he continued his studies and has a doctorate degree.
With all the accomplishments, however, William still wears a long face. He wants parents, guardians and governments to pay more attention to the education of disabled children, as there is ability in disability.