A popular Nigerian musician and mother of a son with special needs, Joy Eseoghene Odiete, popularly known as Jodie has taken to her Instagram to bemoan the challenges mothers of children with special needs face.
Jodie, who is a mother to a son who has cerebral palsy, in a lengthy post on her Instagram page revealed that strangers have advised her to either kill or abandon her son, Chinua, a child with special needs, due to the financial commitment that comes with caring for him.
The singer, who became famous in 2010 for her single hit, Kuchi Kuchi, also said she has also been accused of trying to abort her son while pregnant.
She revealed further that strangers accuse mothers of children with special needs of trying to abort them while some parents hide their children with cerebral palsy, noting that some people call their mothers evil spirits.
Writing on her Instagram page, @Jodiegreat, the single mother, stated that she wanted to create awareness of the stigmatisation that mothers of and children with special needs face in the country.
She called on relevant authorities to urgently take action against the stigmatisation, labelling and accusations mothers of children with special needs face, saying, “I plead to the powers that be to start one step at a time URGENTLY to do something.”
“Women of substance in Nigeria. This message is for the sons, daughters, servants, security agents, concubines… ANYBODY, the Kings and Queens have a soft spot for their opinions.
“I would have paid a media crew to make a compelling and attractive video, but, please forgive me… I cannot afford it now.
“I am not a lazy person. I sang a song, Kuchi Kuchi in 2010, which Kings and Queens have listened to and enjoyed. I am using the soft spot that the song may have created to make this appeal.
“In the past six years, I have hawked beaded jewellery in offices like Total, Noah’s Ark, DDB, etc. I have sold hair care products. I have begged.
“I have borrowed. Nigerians are kind. Even Bellanaija has sent me 100k… I have been a beneficiary of Air Peace’s Thursday session with the Chairman as a social responsibility to help the less privileged – SEVERAL TIMES.
“The truth is, I am a NOBODY, but I was inspired, years ago, to sing a song even when I didn’t know myself – a song that still resonates to date.
“Who knows? Maybe the essence of Kuchi Kuchi was not for my popularity, but to respond to the silent cries of mothers who gave birth to special needs children.
“Maybe its essence was to speak for the blood of the special needs children that have been spilled IN SECRET by helpless mothers who did not know what else to do.
“I know this because some strangers have advised me to kill or abandon my son because such children are sent to swallow up finances.
“My finances have been swallowed. My friends have abandoned me because I am a beggar. My debts are new every morning. But I am a mother who would rather DIE first before her son does not eat.
“Special needs children do not eat normal food. Special needs children need a lot of medical, emotional, etc care.
“Special Needs children require the help of well-established world-class organisations, because it is not their fault that they were born that way.
“In my case, the hospital where I delivered my son had a hand in it. I blame myself for not going to a general hospital. It is past. There is nothing I can do about it now.
“I am unable to stay in a relationship because my soul is shattered. I am a wounded animal, but love still lives in me.
“This public cry is not for me. This public and shameless cry of mine is for the SPECIAL MOTHERS OF NIGERIA.
“We have been ashamed for too long, because of the stigmatisation. Some people accuse you of trying to abort your baby, even though they have no proof.
“Some people call you an evil spirit. Many will hide their children because they are afraid that the child may give them “affliction”.
“It is true that some girls tried to abort pregnancies, causing such, but what of the married women? What of the women who have 3, 4, 5 special kids? Did they all try to abort their own too?
“I am willing to show the public test results to prove that I did not try to abort Chinua.
“But that will not save the Nigerian Special Mothers. Our fighting chance in the already-tough terrain of the country has been cut short because we have to carry over-grown babies on our backs. How can we hustle?”
“I plead to the powers that be to start one step at a time URGENTLY to do something.
“Please consult Madam Nonye of the Cerebral Palsy Centre – she is my mother in this plight.
“I need blogs to talk about this. I need celebs to talk about this. “I need all the politicians who are trying to change Nigeria in 2023 to add this to their agendas.
“I need musicians to sing about this. I need random strangers to give MONEY to every random special mother they know because we are now handicapped. We cannot work.
“I will continue fighting. My saving grace is that I have a roof over my head, a family that cares (though they have their challenges), a smartphone that was gifted to me by a total stranger – Mrs. A from Abuja… goodwill… etc.
“I have mercy, but many special mothers do not have what I have.
“We are now shameless. We are now helpless. We have gone mad, so forgive us for not being able to comport ourselves sometimes – we are trying really HARD to appear NORMAL.
“We need a permanent solution. Money is not the only answer – the care a special kid requires is not from one person’s purse.”
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