THE LAFIA EXPERIENCE
A Smile for Shadrack.
In the Year 2000.
Every morning, i passed through a particular street to my work place, i would notice a disabled boy crawling to school. it struck me that this young boy's shirt was always white and neat, and he was always on time to school, i marvelled at his determination in spite of his disability.
After some weeks, i didn't see the boy crawl to school anymore, i got worried and decided to find out why.
My inquiries led me to his house, where i discovered he was sick with malaria. i was moved to tears hearing him speak english, he was begging his mom to allow him go to school. He asked that his uncle should carry him on a wheelbarrow to school, he feared he may miss his assignment at school, he may loose his first position to someone else.
I got more interested in this young lad, who was not ready to take his disability as an excuse, so the next day i went to his school, Dunama primary school, Lafia.
As expected, he couldn't make it to school. I was shocked to discover that this young disabled boy is the leader in his class, he maintained the top position academically.
I had a deep reflection on the issue that night, i kept rolling on my bed, thoughts of how i could impact positively on his life, thoughts on how to support and encourage him, i then decided to build him a modern tricycle.
Of course, sourcing for fund was a major issue and challenge, i was just a youth corp member posted to do my National voluntary service (NYSC). I was far from my home, an average corp member finds it difficult to maintain self, but i was determined to do something, i just couldn't let him down.
I constructed the tricycle and handed the tricycle to the boy, i also added some extra goodies for his friends too.
I felt so happy seeing him riding his bike to school the next day, i felt fulfilled and happy.
It dawned on me in my later years, that no more joy surpasses that moment watching young shadrack Abu, as he rode to school on his new tricycle.
My name is Emeka Victor Okwudishu.