Disability indeed is not inability, the sad but rather inspiring story of Vitalis Lanshima affirms this popular catch phrase and cliche.
The educationist and former athlete though has had a major setback in his career and eventually gave up on his athletic career, he did not make the unfortunate incident stop him from becoming a useful individual in his society. Staying home disabled for five years did not dampen Mr. Lanshima’s dreams of training hard to become who he wanted to be.
In BBC Pidgin’s interview with the ‘disabled’ educationist, he narrated that, “on October 13, 1989, I was carrying a high jump crossbar to the field to train when it touched an electric pole, it shocked me and I passed out. I woke up to realize that I was surrounded by my friends on the field who later took me to the hospital.”
“The doctors examined me and later informed me that gangrene” – decomposition of body tissue, resulting from obstructed circulation or bacterial infection, “had set in thus in order to survive I’d have my arms amputated.”
Mr. Lanshima without any other option left agreed to have his arms taken off. He explained that life after taking his arms off, got him depressed, as his brothers and sisters had to take care of him, from the sunrise to sunset.
“They used to take me to the bathroom to bath me, clean me up and do everything for me. During that period, I lost hope for the plans I had.”
With some glimmer of hope, he said, it struck him after five years that he needed to train, “and that is how I started to learn how to write again.”
Mr. Lanshimi, regardless of his disability, currently has a degree in Communication and Psychology, a Masters degree in Business and Education, a lecturer and almost through with his Doctorate degree.
Quite a number of disabled people have over the years strived to overcome their disability and earn a living for themselves, with others, however, taking to the streets to beg for a living.