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Why I want to sell my kidney — Man

Olaniyi Iyiola, a 41-year-old resident of Ondo State, speaks with TEMITOPE ADETUNJI, on how poverty pushed him to contemplate selling one of his kidneys

What is your occupation?

My name is Olaniyi Iyiola, and I am involved in fish and pig farming. I hail from Ondo State and am 41 years old. Although I have acquired skills in this trade, I have yet to secure the capital to start my own business, leaving me presently without employment.

Where do you reside?

I live with my family in Ibadan, but due to the prevailing hardship, I temporarily relocated to Lagos in search of employment opportunities. However, the situation remains dire. I have since returned to Ibadan as one of my children fell ill.

You mentioned in a viral video your intention to sell one of your kidneys. Could you elaborate on the reasons behind this decision?

The decision stems from the prevailing conditions in our country. Often, my children lack food, let alone access to education. We struggle to make ends meet, and even basic healthcare is beyond our means. Our youngest, a two-year-old girl, survives mainly on garri, with our meals likewise restricted. The hardship has taken a toll on us, prompting thoughts of suicide. However, I resolved that selling a kidney could provide the means to support my children —covering their education, healthcare, and other necessities. It’s solely for their welfare.

How many children do you have, and what are their ages? I have three children aged 11, 4, and 2 years old, respectively.

Is your wife employed?

My wife works as an auxiliary nurse, yet financial constraints persist. She supplements her income with a cleaning job at a school in Ibadan, earning a monthly wage of N15,000. Despite past salaried positions, including earning between N25,000-N30,000, we still don’t have financial stability. The current economic landscape offers few prospects.

What is your educational background?

I hold an SSCE qualification.

When did you get married?

In 2012. I dabbled into real estate, albeit lacking the capital for significant ventures. Acting mainly as an agent, I struggled to make headway. The lack of resources hindered my efforts. Subsequently, I relocated to Ibadan in search of a more favorable environment, but challenges persisted.

When did your family move to Ibadan? 

We relocated in 2017, seeking better prospects. I am currently in Ibadan due to my child’s illness, planning to return to Lagos shortly.

Where in Lagos do you reside?

I stayed in Aguda, Ogba, with a benefactor who accommodated me following my relocation from Ibafo, Ogun State.

Are you aware of the legal and health risks associated with kidney sales? 

While I acknowledge potential risks, the dire circumstances leave me with limited options. I am solely driven by the need to provide for my children.

How old is your wife, and is she aware of your decision?

My wife is 38 years old. Although she remains unaware of my intent to sell a kidney, I assured her not to fret upon encountering my story on social media. Our shared concern is solely the well-being of our children.

How do you manage rent payments in Ibadan given your current situation?

I undertake odd jobs whenever available, but sustenance remains a challenge. We often rely on garri and palm oil for sustenance, underscoring the severity of our plight. Selling a kidney is a desperate measure to secure our well-being, particularly that of our children.

Do you have relatives or friends who can offer support?

Unfortunately, no. I come from a very poor background. I don’t have relatives that can help me. Similarly, the few friends I have are unable to offer assistance.

Are your children currently attending school?

No, they are not. I don’t have money to send them to school.

What prompted your decision to sell a kidney, and what do you intend to do with the proceeds?

The intent is to secure funds for establishing businesses and ensuring financial stability for my family, particularly my children. It’s a last resort borne out of desperation, driven solely by the desire to provide for my family.

Have you received any offers since the video went viral?

Two people contacted me. One sent me N5,000 and the other person from abroad sent N8,000. There are small amounts of money that came in too. The total amount that I have received is N23,000. But this cannot solve my family’s problem.

Have you sought assistance from organizations or charities?

Some organisations have expressed interest in helping, though I am yet to receive follow-up communication from them.

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Written by Joseph

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