Waking up to see yourself on a hospital bed and a report from the doctor echoes “your leg have to be amputated or you will be dead” . This situation can completely leave you in a state of dilemma where you have to choose either to accompany the devil to his abode or dive into the red sea. As tough as it is, you have to make a decision.
This was the tragic situation Aver Akighir found herself after involving in an auto crash on her way from church, 17 years ago. She had to let go of her lower left limb to stay alive, the incident has made her to sum up courage to face life each day.
The amputee Model who is from Benue State in Nigeria shares her life story in an interview session with Alexander Okere. Akighir reveals the challenges she had to face while coming in terms with the reality.
Aver Akighir’s life story in words:
“I was not physically impaired when l was born . I became an amputee as a result of an accident when I was 16. On February 9, 2003, on my way back from church, I was knocked down by a car and woke up in a hospital with a fractured leg. The accident didn’t seem serious but after two weeks, the doctor examined me and found out that the only means of saving my life was to amputate my left leg. I felt terrible when l was faced with the decision to stay alive with one leg or be whole but dead. I went for the wise decision, which was to be alive with one leg and here I am today.
“We learn a lot from our experiences and now I have a clearer picture of what physically challenged is all about especially people living with such condition in Nigeria. Unfortunately, Nigerian government doesn’t have regard for the welfare of persons living who are physically challenged. A Disability Act was passed one year ago and up till now, we don’t have a commission for persons living with such condition.
“It is estimated that there are over 28 million Nigerians who are physically challenged and this is more than the population of other countries, yet, we don’t have a dignified commission that is made for us and caters to our needs. It’s been a terrible situation with unemployment. We are highly educated, yet unemployed. We are jobless and helpless. As I speak to you now, I’m unemployed but self-employed.
“Over the years l have been discriminated in so many ways, one of such instances is when l approached some movie producers with my script because of my passion for acting. l appealed to them to give me a role in a movie but l was bluntly rejected, I was told working with persons living with disabilities was capital intensive and would slow down their work. Regardless of the rejection, l am not giving up on that yet.
“My condition has also made me lose some friends, some have sticked with me and l consider them as true friends. With courage and boldness l have learnt to take advantage of situations that suit my kind of person and try to minimize the attention give to the “Nay sayers” .
” Despite being impaired physically, l am a certified caterer, also an advocacy for persons who are living with the same condition, a 24/7 disability rights advocate, especially for girls and women. I am an amputee model and TV presenter of a show, ‘Possibilities.’ All of these, I use to advocate and inspire people in my situation and the world.
“In August, 2018, I organised a two-day training for women in Daudu internally displaced persons’ camp in Benue State. I trained them to make things like puff puff, doughnut and chin chin. I am also the founder of Divas Hangout in Benue State; it’s a gathering of young girls living with disabilities. We come together to share our survival stories. We also encourage ourselves and get strength from one another. I have lost count of the PLWDs I have impacted on. I haven’t met some of them personally.
“I have discovered myself and have a clear vision of my mission in this life, which is to encourage and inspire those who find themselves in a situation similar to mine and have given up on themselves. My situation has taught me to be a better person, to have respect for humanity, irrespective of disability, colour or religion.
Akighir, now the Chief Executive Officer of Aver’s Cakes and founder of Diva’s Hangout is one individual that depict strength, hope and braveness. Her life story shows anybody can attain any level of achievement if only he/she is willing to work hard to get it.
*Dreams Do Come True