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When Disability Turned To A Blessing. by Jochebed (f): 11:54pm on November 4




David Aondofa, is a physically-challenged young man. But he has not allowed his disability to act as an impediment to his tall dreams of acquiring Western education. He strongly believes that a sound education will not just open new vistas for him, but also arm him with the requisite knowledge and skills to become a better shoe-maker.
David who lost his both legs at the age of seven owing to complications emanating from a harmful injection administered on him, said he was much comfortable doing what he like doing best (shoe making) , a trade he informed is funding his education and other needs at the moment.
His shop located at CBN Entrepreneur Centre in Makurdi with the trade mark ‘BIG DREAMS,’ is unarguably one of the most patronized within the state capital and its environs, a development he noted has made it imperative for him to move to a bigger place.
In a chat with The AUTHORITY, Apndofa reveals that it was at the age of 16 that the realities of life began to dawn on him, having lost his two legs at a tender age.
“My early life challenges began when I got crippled at the age of seven years. I was injected wrongly on the veins by a local medical practitioner, so when I got to 15, i discovered that most people in my condition were begging but I refused to join them, seeing that those who have no physically challenges were hustling to make a living.
“So, I decided to go into shoe-making because it is a vocation I can do sitting down without exerting much energy, and I have been doing this for about five years now,” he said.
Continuing, he said that “the business has been good. God has been helping me. When my link with the CBN partnership expired, the Benue state government gave me this place which I pay N20, 000 monthly, and by the grace of God it has been paying off for me.”
On settling down he says, “Am not yet married, but I may marry in the next one year. I want to be focused, and so I don’t even have a girlfriend at the moment because I don’t want distractions. But when the time is ripe, I hope to find a woman of my dreams and finally settle down with.”
On how he unwinds, the young entrepreneur says he relaxes only at weekends, but revealed that he does not drink alcohol. .He called on government to come to his aid by way of providing machines and other equipment so that he will be able to cope with the demand which he said was fast overstretching the available tools at his workshop.
He says his works speaks for him and advised fellow youth to always endevour to keep hope alive no matter the condition and circumstance they find themselves in.
“My works speak for me. I wish to encourage others who are disabled to have a strong believe in themselves. It is not about legs, even those with legs are roaming the streets so, they should not give up but hold onto something and with determination, God will crown their efforts with success,”
Aondofa who says he is now an employer of labour, counseled the youth further saying, “Government to me has tried by availing us some of these skills acquisition centers like this one here.
“The youths should always try to get their hands on something. They should put aside certificate and pride, and try out at something instead of blaming government all the time.
“They should learn a skill, and I bet you that handiwork pays even more than most of these government jobs people regard as very big jobs.”
Aondoafa who pegged his monthly income between two to three hundred thousand naira says, he makes a living from the same source, adding that with the proceeds, he has been able to take care of his needs such as feeding, paying of his school feels among others needs.
He also told this medium that through the same business, he was now taking care of some members of his extended family

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