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December 3rd of every year, the United Nations has set aside as International Day for Persons With Disabilities.
In Umueke village, a child was born into the family of Mazi Okolo, Obim was her name. During the period of her pregnancy, her mother, Uzor was returning from the market where she went to sell off the palm oil she had hoarded, waiting for when the price of the commodity will hike.
She saw a mammoth crowd gathered in their compound, some crying and others with their hands folded around their chest mumbling words that one could not hear even from a close distance. As she walked closer to the compound with her protruded stomach, some women, numbering about four rushed to her so that she doesn't do anything funny to herself and her unborn child.
What's going on here?
Uzor queried the mourners. She had already joined the crying team of mourners when she found the body of her husband Okolo, lying lifeless in the corridor of their hut. He had been bitten by a deadly snake and before remedy could come, he gave you the ghost.
At that instance, Uzor wailed, lifted herself, and fell, hitting her stomach on the earth.
Okolo was buried that evening amid tears from all who came. He was such a patient, cool-headed, and hardworking palm wine rapper and husband.
Two months after his burial, Uzor out to bed, a baby girl. She named her Obim- My heart.
I'm was born with a disability, natural ugliness, hunched-back, limping legs, crooked hands, and uneven eyes. She grew up under the care of her mother. Uzor loved her regardless. But she had always been haunted by the village children.
One evening, Obim decided ro end it all. She walked towards the evil forest ro claim her life. At least, to save her from the shame and not give double trouble to her mother after her death.
On her way down the lonely path to the evil forest, she found an. old man who was in serious pain, crying for help. A hunter's dart had stung him on his waist region.
Without hesitation, Obim helped the old man remove the dart and was about to continue her journey to die when the old man called out and said:
My child, I have been in pain for five days, and all that have walked this path neglected me until you arrived.
He had grey hair all over his body, lashes, and hair. He continued:
Tell me anything you want me to do for you. Just mention it.
Obim told him never to mind.
"What would an old man like this have to offer me?" She apple to herself.
Do not underestimate my powers, young girl.
She summoned courage and said to the old man.
Baba, I have been a hideous creature all my life. If you will make me a beautiful maiden and never die again, that's my wish if you will.
The old man walked closer to Obim and pinched her on the arm. She fell like someone who had epilepsy and came back alive after a few moments looking beautiful.
Howe dreams had been fulfilled.
The old man was nowhere to be found. With fear, she walked quickly back to her mother's but and locked herself in the mirror.
Of all queens, who can compare to the one with hunched-back, uneven eyes, crooked hands, and natural ugliness.
When Uzor entered the hut, she found a maiden who was relishing herself, walking about the room in praise of how beautiful she had become. Tears of joy dropped her cheeks as she embraced her.
Before you knew it, suitors from all clans around Umueke and distant communities came to seek her hand in marriage.
She dedicated her beauty to every deformed child in her village. For her marriage, Obim said only the man who is ready to accept that she houses and care for the children with disabilities will she surrender her heart.