I don Suffer For This Naija, Physically Challenged Pharmacist

Nigerian pharmacist, Blessing Mary Ocheido
Nigerian pharmacist, Blessing Mary Ocheido

A physically challenged Nigerian pharmacist has shared her discrimination experiences, declaring ”Omo, I don suffer for this Naija.’’

Blessing Mary Ocheido, the pharmacist is a United Nations Youth Steering Committee member on Beijing+25, an Enterprise for Peace Scholar and a 2021 One Young World Ambassador.

She has won several awards, including a humanitarian award from Voice Global recognizing her advocacy to reduce inequalities in Nigeria.

Taking to her Facebook on Thursday, April 22, the disability rights advocate and writer recalled how Madonna University allegedly rejected her application in 2008 despite her stellar performance at the interview.

Blessing said later she obtained her Pharmacy degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

“In 2008, I applied to study Pharmacy at Madonna University and I was turned down owing to my disability despite my stellar performance at the interview,” she wrote.

According to her, “They told my mum (whom I went with) that being mobility challenged, I will not be able to participate in their compulsory Saturday morning exercises so there was no place for me at the institution.

“I remember when we left and how my mum cried her eyes out and told me not to worry. That I was too good for them.  Anyway, I eventually got my Pharmacy degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

“Even then, there were people who did not want me to graduate as they simply didn’t see why I, as a person with disability, will dare to aspire to a prestigious course like pharmacy. Why not Home Economics or simply sit at home and be at the mercy of my family members’ kindness?

“Why did I even dream of financial independence as a girl on a wheelchair? Omo, I don suffer for this Naija sha. But seriously though, why are most Nigerian institutions so discriminatory against persons with disability,” Blessing lamented.