She is just 12 years old and blind, but Nigerian girl Adeife Unwumsnachi Adeniran has already written a book. Adeife, who attends Prinshof High School for the Visually Impaired in Pretoria, recently launched her very own book titled, Can You Imagine, to coincide with Disability Month, which runs from 3 November to 3 December.
The book is written in English and Braille. “When I came to this country, I couldn’t do many things. I chose writing because I could express my imagination. I found that many people couldn’t understand what I was saying. Also, when visiting the library, I realised that there were not enough books in Braille,” Adeife explained.
“Even if my book doesn’t become a hit, at least it would have made it to the shelves and there will be one extra book in Braille. When you are blind you can see the other side of the world that others don’t see. For me, it’s good to be blind. Disabled people are not a write off. We also have a voice. We are not disabled but differently abled,” she pointed out.
Love for writing
Adeife took three months to complete the 40-page book. It is based on the challenges facing diplomatic parents who relocate from the United States to South Africa.
Adeife has always had a love for writing which started off as a hobby, but she later convinced her parents to help her publish her book.
The launch was attended by Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disability Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, who is also visually impaired.
Minister Bogopane-Zulu praised Adeife for being a role model, saying she would be an inspiration for other disabled people her age. “As the Department of Women, Children and People with Disability is our responsibility, our job is to ensure that the rights of these people are defended.”
She said parents with disabled children could either celebrate them or keep them hidden from the rest of the world. “During Disability Month ask yourself what you did for the development of people with disability,” said Minister Bogopane-Zulu.
The minister invited Adeife to be her special guest during the final Disability Month celebration to be held in Mpumalanga and which will be attended by President Jacob Zuma.
Nigerian Consul General Okey Emuchay said his country was learning a lot from the South African government.
“This is a challenge for Nigeria, there are no schools and teachers for disabled people. Today is important we salute you South Africa,” Emuchay said.
Adeife has written other books for her friends and family, which have not yet been published.