If The Disabled Could Make It, Then What Stops You?


Many of us continue to give excuses for committing one crime or the other. We claim we are compelled to steal, kill, dupe, engage in violence and other vices because we’re seeking for means of survival in our fast-paced and obviously difficult society. Lo and behold, before us is the story of a disabled man who refutes all these excuses made by the physically fit. 

Adjacent the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, this crippled man who is stuck to a wheelchair makes a living from hawking. It is amazing how he has, without help ran a business on that street for more than 10 years and counting.

He further relishes his brand by putting up an appearance that turns all heads to his direction. You will find him in a well tucked-in shirt and a tie to give him an executive look. His outfit gives him all the attention.

Disabled people who throng the streets are noted for wearing miserable, melancholic faces and begging for alms but Osei Kwadwo breaks the jinx and makes good sales instead. Every morning; at the time when the sun rises, and as workers ply the roads, there is a 46 year old man making ends meet. He makes an opportunity from the seeming difficult situation.

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He supports his ‘shop’ with one arm, stabilizing it onto his laps and makes a very quick wheel-steering with the other hand to enable him move in between vehicles. It is such an overwhelming sight to behold!

The crippled Osei Kwadwo with his mobile enterprise

Apparently, he has had to live with a congenital abnormality that has disallowed him from walking since birth. His parents who have passed away had not sought any intervention whatsoever, leaving him to fend for himself in such a helpless state. He has no support from family and friends and has to join other street hawkers to have a night’s sleep at the premises of a company nearby. He only lives from hand to mouth. In his narration he shared with me how he has had to survive from the streets as a disabled person for years.

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This man may not be able to stand to enable him see ahead but he really sees far. In my interaction with him, he envisages a future in which he will comfortably live with a wife and children in his own apartment. Osei has advanced plans to acquire a land for this purpose.

His condition and means of survival bring tears to the eyes, but trust me; Osei is one of the happiest people on earth. He expresses how much he’s received favors from people, how he’s become the center of attraction on the streets, how much lucrative his business is and above all his plans of securing a better life.

His demeanor is a mix of excitement, hope, happiness, gratitude and satisfaction. Talking to him about how his everyday life has been, I have been provoked to make the most of my life no matter the circumstances.

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People who settle for crumbs and are satisfied with their low status are always crushed under the ordeals of life. Waiting for the government to fulfill her promises, expecting help from relatives and sitting all day complaining about how bad your situation is never brings results. This story should inspire you to take charge of your destiny. You are on your own!

Coined from modernghana.com