Endurance Otobi The Blind Shoe Mender.

My name is Endurance Otobi I’m a blind shoe mender from Delta state Nigeria I was not born blind though, I have refused to give up on myself by making myself productive with shoe mending.
I started having problems with my sight while I was in primary school. I became blind in 2002 after an incident in my former compound. So I started going for a checkup, the doctor told me it was glaucoma.
At this point, my parents were not financially buoyant enough to pay for my operation to restore back my sight. It was a very tough and painful moment for me and my family, they thought I was going to raise the family, they hoped that I was going to bring joy to them because I was very brilliant and now all hope seems lost because every effort to beg from relatives or friends to carry out operation was driven to no avail.  The only thing left for us was to pray and hope.
My parents hoped and prayed that I would get better but it did not.  I couldn’t go out without the aid of someone assisting me. That’s how I sat at home from 2002 to 2009. I later made up my mind to fend for myself, because things were getting worse with us, my parents even find it difficult to fend for their selves and according to me, I really want to be somebody in life despite my physical disability.
Severally I was tempted to beg for alms, like an average blind man in Nigeria. Even, my mum advised him to beg for alms but I wanted more in life than begging.
So I made up my mind to start learning to weave at Equipment Life Foundation, at Oshodi, Lagos. I was sponsored by a couple of my good friends.  They assisted me in the movement that’s for those that live around where I was they helped me to and fro. I haven’t lost my memory I was always a fast learner so I was able to get what I was there for the knowledge.
Finally, I graduated from Equipment Life Foundation in 2010 and started teaching people how to weave bags and the other things.
I took up my weaving skills, and I looked for a cobbler to help me with the finishing of my work.
I met a cobbler, Mr. Kazeem Alieu Abiola, who gave me a chance after doubting my ability for a while,
Against all odds, I made out of me a popular shoe mender despite have been blind for 15 years now.
Right now am happy with my hand-work even though I couldn’t meet with my academics dream at least I made something out of me…I didn’t sit out there on the streets begging. My parents are of course proud of me.
I also want to say I love you all. And for those who are in my condition of disability think out of the box, make something out of you. Give it a try you can do it!
peoplearoundlagos@gmail.com THANK YOU!

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