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Nigerian DJ Shares Story of Becoming Blind at Four Months Old

by Lovina

 26-year-old blind popular Nigerian DJ, Augustine Akpeji, on Thursday, narrated how he became blind at the age of four months and became a Disc Jockey

Akpeji disclosed this during an interview with The PUNCH on the sideline of a seminar to create awareness on glaucoma with the topic: “Unlocking The Mysteries of Glaucoma-All You need to know, held at St. Felix Heights, Eleta Eye Institute, Academy, Olomi in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

He explained that despite his blindness, he had made DJ and music his passions and did all that other normal human beings do on social media.

Akpeji said, “I was blind when I was four months old due to cancer of the eyes. It is a cancer, I’m no exception. So, I’m blind doesn’t mean I cannot do anything. I’m a musician, DJ, I play, I sing. I loved music when I was a kid.

“I’m a DJ and you have to be universal. You have to be able to play every part of the music. I play musical instruments as well as sing songs despite my eye challenges.

“Nobody taught me about it. I broke a lot of challenges when I wanted to become a DJ. I play music. I play drum set, I play talking drum, trumpet. And I’ve been in the music industry for the past 25 years, and I’m 26 years old. So, I’ve been on this every day of my life.”

He stressed that despite his blindness, he chatted on social media just like every other person, adding that “Because I’m not seeing anything but I chat on WhatsApp the way you do. I’m not seeing at all. I’m completely blind.”

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of Eleta Eye Foundation, Dr Gboyega Ajayi, lamented that the condition had quietly destroyed many people who could have prevented it before it went out of hand.

He said, “We are here today because there is a condition that quietly destroys the eye without the person knowing. We call it glaucoma and it’s a painful thing for me as a doctor to sit in my clinic and see people who could have been prevented from being blind coming at the late stages.

“And we felt we were not fighting the war adequately. If we continue to stay in the hospital then more and more people will go blind. So, we better take a fight to them and the soldiers on the warfront are few so we need to recruit people. Let them be aware of the condition and they can fight for us. So, we are creating awareness of glaucoma to prevent blindness from glaucoma. Because blindness from glaucoma is irreversible.

“We have trailer drivers who are blind. One of them came to my clinic and with the test we did, I asked how did you get here? And he said I drove myself. He said I’m not blind because I saw people but the quality of what we saw was very bad. He would see movement and that’s why they cleared people at checkpoints.”

Also speaking, a professor of Glaucoma Care and Research, Affiong Ibanga, urged Nigerians to always go for medical checks when they are over 40 years old as many people were already affected without knowing.

She said, “Early detection, prompt treatment, and not just treatment, appropriate treatment and avoid self-medication, avoid patronizing quacks, avoid using anything in your eye without consulting with your well-trained doctors we have available in the country.

“Glaucoma is an issue. It’s a major problem in Nigeria. We are Africans and being Africans we are at risk. And many people have the disease already. The last survey that was done in Nigeria some years back showed that it’s a problem. A large number of the population is being affected and a large number of people are going blind blindness is a problem because the age group of the people going blind is a reproductive age group and it has the implication for economy and productivity of the country.”

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