I was born 6th September, 1990 in Kano. I grew up always being selected to give speeches, representing my primary school in debates. I wrote my first book ‘Little White Hen’ in primary three. I was sure in high school that I wanted to be another ‘Oprah’. It was my ultimate dream to own a TV show and help gazillions of less privileged people. I had published my second book ‘Flesh and Blood’ by SS2 and even won a national award for it. I was going to achieve my dreams at every cost. What was going to stop me?
One night, in 2007, my parents came to my room and started showering prayers over me. I didn’t really like spiritual stuff like that but my parents told me our pastor had called from South Africa saying his wife had a dream where I had an accident and was burnt beyond recognition. He told my parents not to allow me go out till after prayers and when the leading says so. I was thought ‘what kind of wahala is this one?’ After the prayers I just went to bed. I didn’t say the prayers, I’m not sure I cared at the time.
I had graduated from Dansol High School in 2007 and waiting to resume at Covenant University.My childhood best friend called me up and said we needed to pick up our handbooks from Covenant. We agreed I’d come over to her house and we’d go together.
I later got transferred to another private clinic where I was for about two months till I managed to resume school. As at the early stages in the hospital, I still didn’t know the extent of the damage to my face because there were no mirrors around me; but I know that everyone who came to see me burst into tears. I couldn’t understand it but I would tell them that I’d be okay.
Because of the serious damage to my forehead, where the skin had chopped off, my parents couldn’t afford a surgery. I was transferred to Ilorin Teaching Hospital where I was to undergo skin grafting. The skin graft failed…woefully.
I resumed school and I can remember I wore a wig with a fringe. The scar on my forehead wasn’t one to show off at all. It was still fresh. The one on my cheeks, I couldn’t do anything about it. The first day I got to school, I walked into the cafeteria and the first person I saw was my very close friend. She looked at me and looked away. This was like my very own sister but she couldn’t recognize me. I tapped her and said, “Sola, it’s me Dolapo”
She screamed so loud and she hugged me. In fact, all my secondary school friends at Covenant University became a support system for me. It felt good but so many people didn’t know my history and so I would get awkward stares, and whispers when I passed along.
I had graduated from school into the ‘real’ world and fantasized about getting my face back through plastic surgery. A part of me did not accept the scars. Through a sponsored trip in 2012 to meet with a successful plastic surgeon in South Africa, I was shocked when the doctor advised me to leave things the way they were. He told me surgeries are 50/50 and no plastic surgery in the world could ‘totally’ take away scars and my face shouldn’t be that experiment again. He advised to invest in professional make up kits; but I couldn’t wear that kind of makeup everyday. Plus it’s not just my thing. The thought of anything going wrong was scary.
It is true that where you problem stops is where another man’s own starts. So hearing ‘It would be fine’ from someone who had been through worse pain, made me believe it will really be fine. I drew strength from her courage and I am riding on!
It is true that in your pain, you find purpose. I had registered my production company in 2011 just after graduation. I couldn’t afford to go to film school so I went with the harder way of learning to make films- by just making them and so far it’s been a soothing ride. Right now, I write, produce, direct and edit professionally.
I felt unqualified, but, it shows that the big picture I conceived back in school will come to pass. All these make me believe that when we are strong enough to flip the coin of pain, we find purpose and in purpose, we rule. We find joy.
The inner scars are harder to fight. I still fight it till today. I have been on a fringe since 2007 because of the failed surgery on the forehead. Will I wear a fringe forever? Perhaps it is the Lowladee trademark? Heck! It is my reality. I wear a fringe for me. It makes me comfortable and I realized on time that I owed no one an explanation as to how I want to live through my reality.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Please celebrate with me!
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