What blindness has taught me.

Dear MSB readers, lovers, haters…! How are you all doing on this beautiful Thursday morning? We are going to be taking a look at the life of a man who I’m sure inspires you as much as he inspires me.  A man who has not allowed Life to give him an excuse, but has made sweet, sweet lemonades out of his limes, same way we should make lemonades out of ours.
He is no other than *Drum Rolls please*… Cobhams Asuquo!
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Cobhams Asuquo was born on the 6th of January 1981 to parents who worked in the army. He was born like other normal children, Cobhams seemed perfectly normal until about three months after when his very observant mother began noticing his awkwardness. She quickly took him to the University Teaching Hospital in Ibadan from where they were referred to a hospital in Kano. There, her worst fears were confirmed; her son had been blind from the womb and nothing could be done to restore his sight. OUT OF HIS SIBLINGS, HE WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT WAS BORN BLIND. HE WAS RAISED IN THE MILITARY BARRACKS AND LIVED IN A SMALL BLOCK OF BEDROOM FLATS. HE SHARED A FLAT WITH HIS PARENTS AND SIBLINGS.

When his mum was told that her son was blind, she decided to take action. Rather than cry and blame God for her seeming ‘ill’ fate, Mrs Asuquo, who was a clerical officer in the army, resigned to take care of her son and prepare him adequately for a future she knew had to be great. It wasn’t easy at all. Her first responsibility was showing him that his blindness wasn’t a disability. “It wasn’t easy watching Cobhams do chores around the house and run errands like my other children but I resolved to make him as independent and capable of achieving anything he sets his mind to do. I showed him where his box of clothes was and would ask him to go get his clothes after bathing him,” Mrs Asuquo says. The trainings he had from his mum  came in handy when he had to move into the boarding school for his secondary education.

mike 2He gave an absolutely amazing talk on TED X. Here are some of the words he said:

“FORTUNATELY FOR ME, A LOT OF THINGS I HAVE DREAMT ABOUT IN MY LIFE HAS COME TRUE. I BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT ONE OF THE STRONG ELEMENTS THAT FUEL MY VERY STRONG SENSE OF IMAGINATION AND MY ABILITY TO DREAM IS THE GIFT OF BLINDNESS. NOW, BLINDNESS DOES NOT HAVE ANY PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL OR SOCIAL MEANING. SINCE I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED SIGHT, I WASN’T AWARE THAT I WAS WITHOUT SIGHT. AND SO, I INDULGED IN THE INNOCENCE OF YOUNG BOYHOOD. ON A NUMBER OF OCASSIONS, I RAN INTO WALLS. RAN INTO PEOPLE AND PEOPLE WOULD REBUKE ME.

AS I GREW OLDER AND I GAINED MORE UNDERSTANDING OF THE INTRICACIES OF LIVING AS A SIGHTLESS PERSON IN A WORLD DESIGNED FOR THE SIGHTED PEOPLE, I WAS FACED WITH THE LOOMING POSSIBILITY OF FAILURE IN MY LIFE. BUT WHAT I ACTUALLY CONSIDERED TO BE MUCH WORSE WAS PEOPLE WERE READY TO EXCUSE MY FAILURE BECAUSE OF MY DISABILITY … DO NOT EXCUSE FAILURE, FOR ANY REASON ON ANY ACCOUNT.”

MSB Sweethearts, Please don’t let anyone excuse failure for you. More importantly, don’t accept an excuse not to do something or forge ahead after failing. You should understand the fact the failure and success work hand in hand and failure is only a bad thing when you don’t use it to create your success story. If people will make excuses for you, you can reject the excuses once you know you can do better. 

AT THE AGE OF 10, HE WAS ENROLLED IN A PRIMARY BOARDING SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND.

“BLINDNESS HAS TAUGHT ME TO KEEP TRUSTING. TO KEEP HOPING. TO KEEP BELIEVING. BE BLIND TO BE FOCUSED. ON YOUR WAY TO YOUR DESTINATION, WHAT YOU SEE, CAN ALSO BE A BIG DISTRACTION FROM YOUR GOAL”

MSB READERS, WHAT LESSONS ARE YOU LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES, CIRCUMSTANCES? mike 4ARE YOU LETTING THEM TEACH YOU OR YOU ARE LETTING THEM STOP YOU FROM MAXIMISING YOUR POTENTIALS? INSTEAD OF PITYING HIMSELF AND LETTING THE PITY OF OTHERS GET TO HIM (PEOPLE WILL SURELY PITY HIM AS MOST WILL FEEL HIS BLINDNESS WILL RENDER HIM USELESS), HE LOOKED BEYOND HIS PHYSICAL REALITY AND CREATED A NEW REALITY, A REALITY THAT HAS BROUGHT HIM THUS FAR; A REALITY THROUGH WHICH OTHERS HAVE AND ARE MOLDING  THEIR OWN REALITY. THE REALITY OF IT BEING IN YOUR POWER TO LEAD YOUR LIFE AND BE WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS DREAMT OF BEING.

“SOME, I’M SURE WOULD HAVE EXCUSED ME IF I BECAME A FAILURE. BUT I FOUND IT MORE FULFILLING TO BREAK AWAY FROM THE EXPECTATIONS OF MEDIOCRITY. TO SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATE MY WAY THROUGH LIFE. EVEN IF IT RUFFLED THE FEATHER OF THOSE WHO GENUINELY CARED ABOUT ME”

mikeHe started studying law in the university of lagos but dropped out at 300 level in 2004 to fully pursue a career path in Music; his childhood dreams. He said: “I just don’t want to cram and pass, self awareness means a lot to me than just cramming and passing. I decided to opt for something more realistic which was music”. I’m sure he really thought about it before he made the decision to drop out of school. He must have had the will power to succeed in music and practice, mastery helped him. Cobhams nurtured his love for music by immersing himself in various sounds while growing up. His style comprises a wild spectrum of sounds based on his careful understudy of such classical, jazz , traditional music greats. He was signed on Sony ATV as a songwriter and has garnered several awards like the Nigeria Music Awards 2007 (Producer of the decade,)Hip-Hop World Awards 2008(Producer of the year) and others. HE IS TODAY A SONG WRITER, MUSIC PRODUCER AND THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF CAMP (COBHMAS ASUQUO MUSIC PRODUCTION). HE IS ALSO A MARRIED MAN, MARRIED TO OJUOLA OLUKANNI AND THEY HAVE A CHILD TOGETHER.

Please, do not let fear of offense stop you from reaching out and becoming what you are capable of becoming. I noticed God is also an important presence in his life and beautifully and humbly, Cobhams never takes glory for the success that has been made out of the careers of musicians like Bez and Asa through his help. Without God, we are nothing and it’s only in him that we can fully have our being. So darlings, I will implore you to please work with God and allow him work his wonders through your life. Also be determined and stubborn enough to stand your ground and not let life toss you anyhow. If you have passion for something, pursue it although I won’t advice you drop out of school like many erroneously do these days. Finish that course, have that degree and still pursue that dream and if you are doing a course not best suited for you, it’s really not too late to change.
 
Stay beautiful :*
sources: Nigerianfilms.com
kehindeajose.blogspot.com

 

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