Nigerian musician, producer, and songwriter Cobhams Asuquo who was visually impaired from birth has revealed that bullies almost made him drop out of school.
Cobhams who grew up in a military barracks in Jos, Plateau State, disclosed that though his parents didn’t have much, however they gave him so much love. Here are excerpts from his interview with Eric Dumo;
You had your earliest childhood in a military barracks in Jos, Plateau State, what was that period of your life like?
That period was fun because I was able to do all the things most children around could do despite my visual impairment. I remember rolling tyres on the streets with the other children back in those days. I was very competitive. If any child did something around me, I found a way to do it better.
My parents didn’t have much but they gave me so much love. I would say I am a product of love. My visual impairment was never an issue of concern as a child.
Later, my father, who was in the army, was posted to Lagos, so we lived at the Ikeja Military Cantonment.
Were you able to start school as and when due or were there delays as a result of your situation?
I started primary school when I was 10 years old at the Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children in Lagos. I had learnt a lot of things from my brothers and sister before I started, so it was quite easy for me to fit in. I listened to a lot of radio programmes as a child, so this increased my understanding of a lot of things.
I attended a boarding primary school and for me, the environment and atmosphere were very different from what I had been used to at home. The shock was such that I wanted to drop out of school in primary two. The routine was quite a lot for a young boy like me who had been used to being woken up by his mother and asked what he wanted for breakfast.
Also, the head boy of the school then didn’t like me much because I spoke with an accent I picked up from watching television which they couldn’t understand. He and a few other boys did all they could to make life difficult for me. The situation got to me and I wanted to drop out of school at that point.
Fortunately for me, a lot of those boys passed out the following year, so things became much easier for me in school. As a matter of fact, I soon became a ringleader myself as time went by. It was an interesting period of my life.
For those who think that having a disability is the end of the world, what words do you have for such people?
I think such persons should take a look at my life. The fact that I am where I am today is testament to the fact that they can do 10 times more.