Cobhams Asuquo was born blind, a condition that could not be attributed to family history or genetics. The first impulse upon first seeing a blind man or woman is to feel pity and imagine how dull life must be without the gift of sight. The same pity overcomes us when we behold an individual in a wheelchair, walking with the aid of crutches or with a limb missing. We slowly shake our heads and perhaps under our breath mutter, “God help that poor soul…”; for we perceive any form of disability as a curse. However, it is only when we get to know someone who lives with some form of “abnormality” as labelled by society, that we understand that we are all abnormal in some way and that the conditions we perceive as disabilities may be advantages after all.

Cobhams Asuquo is far from a man who uses his blindness as an excuse for not pursuing his dreams, neither does he accept blindness as a curse but counts it a blessing.

Listening to Cobhams Asuquo’s delivery at TEDxEuston, one realises that blindness or disability of any form, is not an excuse for failure. Whether our disability manifests in a physical form like Cobhams’ blindness, or a missing limb or in many cases the “financial disability”, we have no excuse to accept failure. Whatever challenge you face in life, learn to say no to your current circumstances and dare to dream beyond your limitations.

Based on Cobhams’ delivery, remember this Africa:

-Lack of money is not an excuse for not starting that business you have always dreamed of owning.

-Coming from a family of individuals who have not completed school does not mean you should stop fighting tooth and nail, to pursue your studies as far as you desire.

-Coming from a broken family is not an excuse for not leading a healthy family life as a husband or wife.

-Coming from a colonial past is no excuse for accepting Africa’s current state of affairs and conceding to the underdevelopment of our continent.

The list could go on and on but whatever “disability” or challenge you are facing, nothing is impossible and FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!

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