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Michael, the blind kid that drums to live

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By Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta

He clings to his drums, eyes focused on the muses and melodies flowing frown within the drum and the illuminated heart.  Thirteen year old Micheal Bomodeoku reminds one of the fabled “Akin the Drummer Boy”, key character of the novel with the same title.
Akin is a blind drummer boy who mesmerized his audience with the melodies from his performances. So is Michael, a blind boy, who is currently holding residents of Abeokuta, Ogun capital,  spell bound with his drumming wizardry.
Michael now rules the community with his drums and melodies and two friends who act as his pathfinders. Their performances are so intriguing and unique that people wait to listen and dole out money for them.
Michael was not born blind. Life and fate dealt him a vicious blow when he was attacked by measles at about the age of nine, when he was n primary three at the Methodist School, Abeokuta.  Measles had wrecked his life, life vision and parents’ hope.
Peoples Daily Weekend learnt that trouble started for the bright and very intelligent Michael when one fateful day, he woke up and discovered sudden rashes all over his body. What started like a child’s play initially paralysed his legs and arms and then dealt him a vicious blow by destroying he eyes.
Since then, it has been a life full of challenges for Michael and his parents, a bricklayer father and a mother, who is a prophetess at Mokepe Jesu Ona Ara Cherubim and Seraphim Church located in Ojere area of Abeokuta. The family however, resides at Oja-Ale in Ijaiye area of the town.
Most of the meager earnings of the family goes to Michaels medications. However, to help, Michael took up drumming and gradually mastered some beats that have now started making him a child star in his area.
Narrating his plight to our correspondent at Iwe-Iroyin Press Centre, Abeokuta where he came for alms begging, Michael said when he had the first attack on his limbs, he was rushed to the hospital where he was treated and he luckily regained use of his limbs.
But the joy of the family was short lived as he started having burning itches in his eye; before help could come, Michael had lost his eyes and has not had any remedy since then.
According to him, “I was in primary three at Methodist Primary School when this happened to me.  I woke up to prepare for school when my parents discover rashes on my body, and I could not walk again, and I was rushed to the hospital. I became better, but surprisingly, as my parents were celebrating, few hours after, I started experiencing itching on my two eyes, before we could know it, I lost my sight, since then I have not been able to see  and I have not been able to go to school anymore.”
Painfully, the ugly development,  forced the little boy out of school as his educational future got terminated. His mates in primary school then, are today in Junior Secondary School Class (JSS 1)
Now, the once bright, happy boy is now living in a dark world without the thrill of colours; but in his heart flows very bright but sometimes melancholic light depicting his happiness to be alive and pains to be without eyes.
Speaking further, the blind boy explained that, to make end meet, he got a drum and negotiated with two of his friends, Usman Akinsanya (8) and Usman Popoola (12)  to serve as his pathfinders to help him move round the town to entertain people.
On what he uses the money realized on,  Michael said he spends it on drugs explaining that he realizes minimum of N2,000 on daily basis after walking the length and breadth of the town.
He said his friends do not compel him to share money realized with them knowing that he uses it for his drugs.
Michael earnestly desires to go back to school. Being out of school, he said, makes him very sad. He said he has been trying to get well meaning Nigerians to help him enroll in any special school for the handicapped.
“I am interested in going back to school, if I have opportunity of being enrolled at any of the Special School for the Handicapped, am ready to pursue the academic, because I want to be very important person in future, as a blind boy, I can become a famous musicians,” he emphasised. His focus now is to be like the popular blind musician, Steve Wonder.

Comments (1)Add Comment
Micheal is now in school
written by olukayode, April 08, 2012
I got to know Micheal about 3 yrs ago. we met at MKO Stadium and exchange number with him, since then he had been calling to know if i have succeeded in getting a school for him.
On the 11th Feeb,2012. I organised a National congress for memebers of the Marriage Counselling Clinic, members came from far and near. Micheal's issue was introduced and well meaning Nigerians took it up.
Today, Micheal has been enrolled in the school of the blind in Ijebu-Igbo. Reports shows that he is doing good and coping with the new challenge of life.
We still look forward to otherwell meaning Nigerians to come to his aids.

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