Joy Eseoghene Odiete, the Nigerian singer better known as Jodie, has opened up on her struggles as the mother of a child with special needs.
Jodie is renowned for her 2010 hit song titled ‘Kuchi Kuchi’.
Her six-year-old son, whose name is Chinua, is battling cerebral palsy — a developmental disorder caused by damage to the brain which could make simple tasks challenging for those affected.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Wednesday, the musician said her son’s condition has taken a toll on her finances and called on Nigerians for help.
Jodie also said she has borrowed and begged many people for support in her bid to cater to her son’s needs.
“I am not a lazy person. I sang a song, Kuchi Kuchi in 2010, which Kings and Queens have listened to and enjoyed. I am using the soft spot that song may have created to make this appeal,” she wrote.
“In the past 6 years, I have hawked beaded jewellery in offices like Total, Noah’s Ark… I have sold hair care products. I have begged. I have borrowed. Nigerians are kind… The truth is, I am a nobody, but I was inspired, years ago to sing a song even when I didn’t know myself – a song that still resonates till date.”
The singer also revealed that during her struggles, she came across strangers who advised her to kill her son because “such children are sent to swallow up finances”.
“Who knows? Maybe the essence of Kuchi Kuchi was not for my popularity, but to respond to the silent cries of mothers who gave birth to special needs children. Maybe its essence was to speak for the blood of the special needs children that has been spilled in secret by helpless mothers who did not know what else to do,” she added.
“I know this, because some strangers have advised me to kill or abandon my son, because such children are sent to swallow up finances.
“My finances have been swallowed. My friends have abandoned me, because I am a beggar. My debts are new every morning. But I am a mother who would rather die first before her son does not eat.”
Jodie also alleged that her son’s condition was partly due to the hospital where she gave birth to him.
“Special needs children do not eat normal food. Special needs children need a lot of medical, emotional, etc care. Special Needs children require the help of well established world-class organisations, because it is not their fault that they were born that way,” she added.
“In my case, the hospital I delivered my son had a hand in it. I blame myself for not going to a general hospital. It is past. There is nothing I can do about it now.”
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