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Disability won’t bring me down

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Disability won't bring me down
DETERMINED: Lone Nelson Sekai

Lone Nelson Sekai was an active three-year-old toddler when his life changed forever.

The usually bubbly boy’s speech suddenly became strangely slurred and he could no longer walk.

His mother, Norah Sekai suspected he had suffered a minor stroke and rushed him to a local clinic, where a series of medical check-ups followed.

“They told me his development would be slow, but he was normal,” the mother-of-four explained.

In a brief interview this week, Sekai revealed how, 22 years later, her son has triumphed against all odds, never allowing his disability to stop him from reaching his goals.

“Lone has never felt pity for himself. Soon after the attack, he talked and walked with great difficulty.

“He desired to run around like other children and that pained me a lot. However, I had to be strong for him and I took him to physio therapy where he got a lot of help,” Sekai added, her emotions a mixture of satisfaction and sorrow at the memory.

However, when she talks of the man Lone has become – he works for The Voice as a messenger in our Gaborone offices – there is no pain, only pride.

Lone owes much of his success to his mother’s devotion, as Sekai explained his grandmother had wanted him to remain in the village when he was younger.

“I was working in town back then and my mother thought that Lone would be too much for me to handle, especially as I was single at the time.

“However, I made her see that in town he would have access to better health services and today when I look back, I have no regrets because his speech and physical ability have improved a lot,” Sekai reflected, before a sobering thought descends on her.

“If I had left him in the village as according to my mother’s request, he would not have received proper medical attention and today he would be crippled!”

For his part, Lone is equally proud of his achievements to date and is planning to marry in future.

“You see, I have a girlfriend and we are happily raising her two children together,” the 25-year-old revealed with a shy but satisfied smile.

He said although people may look at him as a person living with disability, they still have a lot of respect for him because he never allowed that to deter him.

“What I can encourage people with disability is that, disability is not the end of life, it can happen to anyone, any day and any time.

“Every person has their own disability, so nobody should give up because of his or her looks or situation. They should get out there, interact with other people, get to know them and go after opportunities, find women and marry,” Lone asserted, his carefully chosen words easily distinguishable despite a slight lisp.

Reflecting on how he has had to cope with disability for most of his young life, Lone said, “I was not born like this, although I was slow in development.

“Just one day when I was young, I am told I was around four years old, I found myself unable to walk and speak, but that did not stop me from going to school and doing my basic education.”

Proving his mother’s statement that he is not one to pity his situation, Lone concluded by saying, “I am working and able to support myself and my family – that is all any man wants in life!”