'I Am Happy I Can't Use My Legs'
Damilare Adeoye was born a healthy child, even when his legs went limp, and stopped supporting his body.
This did not stop Damilare popularly called ‘Darella’ from making or repairing shoes.
He sets out at 8am everyday to make ends meet and comes back home at sunset.
“I started this job in 2001. I started as an apprentice and graduated in 2003, the place where I learnt this job we were 5 people, I was the last to join this group, and I was the only one to graduate. My oga did not expect that I will graduate, I give glory to God”
I make and repair shoes, sandals and repair bags too", he said.
Although with some difficulty, Damilare's upper body strength makes up for the legs, so he still goes about his normal daily activities. He declines to use a wheel chair. He says it traps both the body and the mind.
One of the exciting things about watching Darella move around every day is his speed and agility.
The way he gets on motorcycles called commonly called Okada is quite amazing; it is one thing that has to be witnessed to be understood - the grace and strength exhibited in one singular motion.
Lost In Love
Despite the difficulty in his movement, and the fact he may never rise to his full frame, Darella found love.
“I am a shy person, I asked God to give me someone that will understand me, and understand my condition, she came to my shop to make a shoe and I told her liked her, and we started from there.” He said.
The husband and father of 3 beautiful children, makes an average of 5,000 Naira per day.
He cannot afford to buy materials in bulk so he spends an average of 3,000 Naira to materials every day.
This leaves him with a profit of 2,000 Naira every day, bringing his monthly income to about 56,000 Naira.
When talking about how popular he is in Egbeda, his face lights up.
“Darella in Egbeda. There is nobody that does not know me, even when I disappoint them they still laugh with me” he said.
Ezekiel, a neighbor who sales frozen food from across Darella Shoes, speaks highly of the popular shoemaker.
“He is friendly, he is loyal, we do some crazy things together, and you can tell him your problems and share things with him”
Chibuzor Ofoegbu, who operates a restaurant close to Darella’s shop calls Darella his younger brother.
“He is ability in disability amplified, he is a gentleman, he minds his own business, he is hardworking, he is a good family man, his wife and kids work with him, He is a family friend, in fact he is like a junior brother to me”
Darella stays on the path of learning and growing and he always quick to let anyone know what inspires him on his journey of life.
You should count your blessings, not your worries.