My name is Ondo State native Kareem Babatunde. I have vision impairments. In Ondo state, I graduated from Owo High School and then went on to Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo.
I got married and had a kid in 2016, and I graduated.This is not how I was born (blind). My eyesight failed me on July 19, 1998. Malaria was the cause of it. Once the medication was taken and the patient received therapy for malaria for seven days, additional things occurred during that time.
It caused me to lose my sight later on. I thus became blind from malaria.Was there any particular training you had after losing your sight?I received assistance on September 15, 2000, from someone who is similarly visually handicapped to me, after I lost my sight in 1998. He saved my life by informing my father that Owo, Ondo State, had a school for the blind. He claimed to have completed his education. Upon hearing that, my father expressed hope that there was still hope for me since he too could attend the school despite having the same illness.
I therefore started attending that school, Ondo State School for the Blind, on September 17. As soon as I arrived, I mixed with my coworkers to learn braille, including how to read, write, and move about with orientation skills.
Was it simple for you to adjust to the surroundings of the school?I was an outgoing student throughout my time in school, even going so far as to be considered among the exceptional students. I was the head boy in Primary Six and the assistant senior boy in Primary Five, among other roles.
During my time in Primary Three, I participated in a nationwide competition in Lagos, Nigeria, where I represented the Ondo State School for the Blind in reading and writing Braille. I was third at my school. My gregarious nature has aided me in advancing to the secondary school level.
I worked as the school librarian in Junior Secondary School Three and as the language boy at Senior Secondary School Two. In SS3, I also attained the rank of assistant senior prefect. Being social is who I am.
In what ways did your condition help you succeed in the university setting?
With my social life, I ran for the position of director of handicap in the Education Students Association when I arrived at Oyo State’s Special College of Education, and I was elected. In addition, I ran for president of the Nigerian Special School Association, a post I was unsuccessful in winning.
In addition, I ran for and was elected to the presidency of the Association of Visually Impaired, College of Education Special. My National Certificate in Education is a result of my attendance at the Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo.
After you graduated from the college of education, did you find employment?I didn’t have a job when I graduated from the Federal College of Education Special in Oyo, but I didn’t want to rely on anyone or become a liability.
Even though it didn’t pay well, I became the local football team’s coach when I started getting guys in my neighbourhood together to teach them the game. I simply do it to socialise by going out and mingling.
I own no job.What brought your wife to you?
Yes, I have a child and am married. About a year prior to my accident, on February 26, 2022, I got married. She was someone I met at school. She was courteous to me, and I thought of her as my children’s mother and a wife who is passionate about creating a home.Does she have visual impairments too?Yes, like me, my wife has limited vision, but she is still visually challenged. My spouse goes by Mrs. Roseline Babatunde. Her hometown is Oka Akoko.Given that you are both visually handicapped, did you have any concerns about having children before you decided to get married?I was fearless.
There was no dread in me when I was going to give birth. I have no fear since I think God is a tremendous provider. For that reason, I went ahead and got married.Which kind of accident did you get into?On May 23, 2023, I went for a follow-up regarding my employment letter and had an accident. My letter to Rotimi Akeredolu, the State Governor, was promptly handled and forwarded to the Head of Service.
After treating it, the Head of Service dispatched it to the established training institution in Alagbaka, Akure, which is next to the governor’s office. When I arrived at the location to check, I was instructed to proceed to the establishment training board.
So I got on a business motorbike. Although the rider helped me, he was unaware that there was a ravine up ahead. I therefore tumbled into the iron-filled ravine. I bang into the culvert with my buttocks. I was unaware that I had experienced a negative event. Four men saved my life. I went to the board to examine my job letter as soon as I was saved. Although the director was not there, I did meet the secretary, who took care of me and verified the letter.
The letter had moved from their office to the circulation office, she informed me. When the secretary noticed that I was bleeding, she assisted me in obtaining a motorbike so I could get home. That’s how it came to pass.