Disability is frowned upon in the African setting but these celebrities have broken the stigmatization by talking about it in public.
It comes in many forms, it can be mental or physical meaning one can look OK outwards but their mental capacity is not ok.
Hard as it may be, they have opened up about having disabled children or siblings, some even parents, narrating how the journey has been.
1- Anne Ngugi
BBC Media personality Anne Ngugi has a daughter who is battling hydrocephalus.
Angel Wanjiru has proven that there is more to life than looking at your weaknesses, she has produced a song and won an award in the UK.
Speaking about her daughter’s condition in the past Anne said
“She understands she is different from other kids. When we go out to mentor people, she can express herself very well.
As a mother, my dream is to see her stand strong on her own, even when I am not there, and never allow anyone to point fingers at her, telling her she is different.
Raising a child with special needs has not been easy for Anne, but she does not complain about it.”
She adds that
“Sometimes you go to places with her and that is when I feel the weight that she is different from others but for her.
Angel has developed a thick skin and, therefore, she copes. I have always accepted because I know there is always a reason.
You have to accept the fact that your child is special and start looking for solutions, as well as try so hard to love that child because no one will love your child more than you.”
2- Yvonne Okwara
Yvonne recently lost her brother who was deafblind almost all his life. In a previous interview, she opened up about it saying that
“In the 60s, while expectant, my mother contracted German Measles. It has no symptoms.
By the time she was giving birth to her firstborn son, there were complications. Mental retardation and deafblindness started to set in.
She tried everything, no door was un-knocked, multiple surgeries, consultations.
She talked to every doctor in the country. All of them, including, the professors, told her they had traveled far and wide and had NEVER seen anyone like my brother.
That he would not live beyond his 5th birthday. Or his 10th. Nor his 12th. Albert Okwara is still here! 50 years later! What a journey it has been.”
“Friends have fallen along the way, those that could make the choice did so and exited our lives. Called it a curse. To the entire community! I won’t name names but he knows himself!
The world of disability is a lonely one! The road has been lined with tears, pain, dashed hopes.
But it has also had wonderful lessons that have made me who I am today! Let me explain, Albert is deafblind. He does not see, speak or hear.”
Sadly Albert passed away in 2018.
3. Emmy Kosgei
Female artiste Emmy Kosgei is another Kenyan celebrity who has openly talked about having a family member battling disability.
Emmy’s dad is bound to a wheelchair after his limbs were affected by polio years ago. In an earlier post, the artiste expressed her amazement at the fact that her mum overlooked her dad’s disability.
She says that
“My mum is my inspiration, I have grown to see my mum achieve much having brought us up having been married to my dad who is physically challenged.
I am still amazed at how she was able to overlook my dad’s physical disabilities and marry him even with the pressure from the society and his family on what she had seen in such a man.”
4. Kathy Kiuna
Reverend Kathy Kiuna has never shied from talking about her son Jeremy who is abled differently.
Jeremy Kiuna, the last born son to Kathy and Allan Kiuna has deformed lower limbs. He was also born prematurely so his parents consider him a miracle baby.
5. Esther Wahome
Gospel artiste Esther Wahome had in the past talked about her son battling Autism.
In a past interview, Esther had talked about how difficult the news of her son being sick had been to her.
Esther Wahome disclosed that when they discovered that their son was Autistic it was a very scary moment for her family and it took them 2 years to be able to get a diagnosis.
“The name autism was very heavy on me when we first got the diagnosis; it was this thing that we didn’t know about it.
Before we even knew what it was, we leaned on God in prayer, and we got the courage to go on,” she said.
The singer also revealed that the hardest part for her was when she had to watch her child cry after she started withdrawing foods he was not supposed to eat.
She, however, said it is a condition that can be managed and his son lives a normal life and she is not afraid of speaking about it because she believes her story can help people out there.