Meet the albino whose change impact goes beyond Nigeria
Image result for images for Albinos and Beyond the complexion campaignIn a pursuit for greater being, a lot of people try their best possible to make ends meet to carry on the legacies of their families while others strive to thrive in order to not just enjoy the fruit of their labour, but mostly to help better the lots of others and be the voice of the voiceless. They become the lead to pave way for others as they shine on. Such is the life of Chimezie Judemary Udechukwu, who is fondly called “Ojisi”. He is an albino saturated with a goal to dispel the notion that albinism is a form of disability. As a motivation to a broad array of young Africans like him, Udechukwu has gone extra miles to embark on change projects both in Nigeria and West Africa at large. In this interview with Eustace Dunn, a US-based Naij.com contributor, he reveals his journey into tapping from his talent and helping the society despite being an albino. Read excerpts from the interview below: Recently you shared one hundred dictionaries at a school located in Lagos, what prompted this innovation?
Read more: https://www.naij.com/826062-meet-albino-whose-change-impact-goes-beyond-nigeria-photos.html

“My being albino does not mean being disabled”
He is an albino with a huge difference. A graduate of political science whose eloquence on the microphone sends the heart melting and yearning for more speech. He is Chimezie Judemary Udechukwu, a propelling force for the Nigerian youths in particular and Africa at large. Fondly called "Ojisi", he believes that albinism is not a curse but a motivating factor to show the world what he's got, the talent! Just like many other great men and women, Udechukwu also started from a rough humble beginning still aiming higher with a goal to let the world know that he is not his hair neither is he the colour of his skin. To him, what matters is the content of who he is! Meet the guy who's impact is everywhere in this interview with me (Eustace Dunn)  you can find the full interview  on http://www.eustacedunn.com/2016/05/my-being-albino-does-not-mean-being.html

Image result for images for Albinos and Beyond the complexion campaignSometimes in May this year, my friend Eustace Dunn whom I have been friends with for about a decade contacted me from the US and said he wanted an exclusive Interview because he believed I have made great impact in our world and the world needs to hear it beyond Nigeria. So at first I was skeptical; what things have I done? There are other people who have done greater things I reckoned within myself, finally I agreed and we held the interview and believe me, I held nothing back. It was initially billed for his blog, but along the line, it became a national campaign. Now that interview has gone viral, all you need do is Google the titles and you would find an avalanche of results.

Image result for images for Albinos and Beyond the complexion campaignImage result for images for Albinos and Beyond the complexion campaign
Why all these plenty stories? 

Well, some people have told me that the mere fact that I allowed the editors use the term “Albino” in describing me, then I have accepted that I am disabled. So I am taking this pain to write this, call it a rejoinder or a further attestation of that interview and you will not be wrong. Before we move further and for the avoidance of doubt, I would like to state clearly, I AM AN ALBINO AND I AM NOT DISABLED!

This may take a while so please be patient.

A caveat!!!

This is not a pity party, and as such please check your [Eeyqs] here before going further to read. This piece is a reminder to all that we are dangerously allowing racism in our society especially within the African continent. This isn’t pride or arrogance talking, but a firm belief in what is currently playing out in our society today.

Now you may proceed.

I have always believed that my purpose on earth is to serve as a conduit pipe, connecting people to their purpose. The passion for service drives me. It's not easy but I am emboldened by the success of the little efforts I make to change the environment around me. For me, my most cherished asset is my ability to speak... to speak eloquently with elocution. 

Sometimes in 2014 I tried applying for the Graduate Internship Scheme, GIS and in one of the sections tagged "Disability", “Albinism” was number one. I felt Irritated and forthwith stopped the application process. That was the first time I came the notion that Albinism is a disability. I was livid with Anger!

Image result for images for Albinos and Beyond the complexion campaignIn December 2015, during the International Day for Persons with Disability, On its programme Political Platform, a weekday Political analysis show on the Raypower Network, Jake Ekpelle Founder of the Albino Foundation www.albinofoundation.org  was their Guest. Now I respect the man for his vision for creating the organization and what he is doing in the lives of other Albinos, but when he said that morning on the show that because Albinos can't see under the sun and he can't last ten minutes under the sun therefore that contrives disability, then I am sad!

I was shocked that such statement could proceed from such a person. For me, rather than encourage the members, it confers on them a certain limiting Spirit which hinders creativity and for me, that is true disability. Again, I am even more surprised that the Crew would settle for the choice it did when discussing the 2015 International Day for Persons with Disability. It shows even the views held by the media organization with regards to Albinism.

Image result for images for Albinos and Beyond the complexion campaignNow, the State of being disabled means deprivation or want of ability; absence of competent physical, intellectual, or moral power, means, fitness, and the like. Want of legal qualification to do a thing. Then if so, then physical disability is the least form of disability. When one is bereft of intellectual and moral abilities, then that is real disability! Disability isn't deformity.

There are lots of Albinos who are breaking down doors, applying their intelligence and intellectualism in making our world a better place , in different fields of endeavor, why then the discrimination? If you accept the gifts that I bear as a person, why reject me?

Thus I feel more inclined to relate with the Onome Akinlolu Majaro Foundation www.oamfoundation.org  because it believes that people living Albinism are humans and they shouldn’t be viewed as disabled. I believe this should be the focus of the new campaign. My father taught me never to have pity parties but to always reach within, to be strong despite the storms; he didn’t wait for the government to come take care of me and my younger brother, neither did he treat us differently did house chores, went to the market, I hawked and did everything a child in my hood did during childhood.

Image result for images for Albinos and Beyond the complexion campaignAn Albino should first be treated right in his family, loved and embraced and supported by all . in filling himself up with such love, he would hardly notice the discrimination in the society. Ugochukwu Ekwe wouldn’t have committed suicide on August 16th, 2015 if the family had loved him so well and supported him all through. It is also same for the many being killed in Tanzania , Kenya and other East African countries. Lack of love and quantum ignorance is what would make people kill their fellow men and women for very silly reasons.

The message by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to mark the 2016 International Albinism Awareness celebration best sums up my sentiments on this whole matter.

People born with albinism can live normal, healthy and productive lives given the right opportunities – but tragically, far too many suffer isolation, mutilation and even death because of persistent discrimination and ignorance surrounding their condition. International Albinism Awareness Day offers an opportunity to dispel the myths that surround these individuals and enable them to exercise their inalienable human rights.

Continued reports of gruesome violations, killings and attacks against persons with albinism, including children, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly, remain a deep concern. Persons with albinism continue to live in fear of their lives. Yet the resilience and courage of the survivors of these attacks and the abilities of persons with albinism, and the degree of commitment of those who work for the enjoyment of their rights is heartening.

The General Assembly’s recent designation of this commemorative Day shows growing international understanding of the need to fight against discrimination and stigma against persons with albinism while addressing root causes.

While attacks on people with albinism may stem from ignorance, they are still criminal acts that demand justice. I call on States to take all possible measures to provide greater protection to persons with albinism at risk and to strengthen their legal responses to crimes affecting this vulnerable group.

States should also adopt comprehensive strategies to eradicate discriminatory practices against persons with albinism and ensure that they have adequate access to health care, social services, employment and education.

For its part, the United Nations will continue to mobilize international action against this abhorrent discrimination. I call on all countries to engage in this effort. Even those where discrimination is not a prevailing problem should support the dedicated activists who stand for the rights of persons with albinism.

Let us make the most of International Albinism Awareness Day to defend the inherent dignity of those with this condition and, in the process, help create a better world for all.

Ban Ki-moon

The last three paragraphs are perhaps the motivation for this write up. Its July now, so my my question is what happens after June 13? I hope this isn’t another once-in-a-year-campaign. But then the, why do I care? Afterall, I have never benefited from such policies. Should that stop me from voicing out my opinion? Of course not!

We must continue to drum in our ears, put it ion our faces and blow the trumpet! WHEN YOU DENY ME WHAT IS DUE TO ME AS A HUMAN BEING, THEN YOU ARE RACIST!

So once again I speak from heart; albinism is not a disability. This is one reason why I won't associate myself with the Albino Foundation. They operate from a point of weakness, seeking pity, rather than pushing forth the strengths of its members [I may be wrong, but then, its my perception]. The mentality they imbibed has a negative impact on them because they see themselves as disabled.

When you operate from that perspective, then there is nothing you can achieve except those with abilities come to your aid. I refuse to accept that I am disabled person simply because I lack melanin. I am not my hair, I am not my skin color, I am the soul that lives within; I am wonderfully and fearfully made. I can hold my own anywhere. Yes, I AM BEYOND MY COMPLEXION

To all the Albinos who would come across this;

Never say never! The glory days are ahead. The future belongs to those who prepare for it today and you can't survive alone in this world. We all need each other. Serving humanity by creating values is a sure means of building your reputation. To those like me, a lack of melanin isn't a death sentence. What we lack in pigmentation, we abound in intellect! You just have to reach within and discover the talents inherent.

You are a celebrity, just look beyond your complexion! I am!

I intentionally did not want to talk about the whole concept of Albinism; you can find more on Wikipedia. Support the #BeyondtheComplexion campaign


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