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Visually impaired newspaper vendor asks for help treating glaucoma

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Visually impaired newspaper vendor asks for help treating glaucoma

By Edwin Nwachukwu

A visually impaired newspaper salesman, Mr. Hakeem Olukerede, has appealed to businesses and philanthropists for financial help to treat glaucoma.

The 50-year-old seller, who operates around Gowon Estate in Egbeda, Lagos state, said on Friday that the help would help him get treatment and return to his furniture business.

“I don’t like newspapers because the stress is too much

for me with my condition.

“But I have no options at the moment and I don’t want to stay home

because if I stay at home I will be full of worries.

“Actually, it’s none of my business. I am a furniture man. I have learned

furniture making and attended the Public Technical School of

Ikotun, Alimosho local government area, ” he told the Nigeria News Agency (NAN).

Olukerede said he completed his technical studies in 1989 and had since been in the furniture business until he began to have problems with his eyesight.

The father of three told NAN his sight problem started gradually,

and became severe four years ago.

According to him, he was later diagnosed with glaucoma.

“When the eye problem continued I thought to myself that I shouldn’t

stay idle, and I have to look for something else to do.

“So I met one of my people and he suggested that I run the journal

sale. I accepted because the half loaves are better than nothing, ”he said.

When asked how he manages to identify which particular newspaper a customer wants, Olukerede said, “I have a way of organizing different

collection point logs so that it is easy for me

to identify exactly which one a customer wants.

“I put them away from the Sun, Punch, Sporting life, Vanguard

newspapers and the like will follow.

Regarding his challenges with transactions, he said that sometimes when

a customer paid him for a copy, he asked the customer for the amount he

had given him.

“Sometimes they will give me N100 and say the amount is N500 or

N1, 000. I have a way of putting different denominations in my pockets.

“So when I get home I give my kids the money to help me count what I’ve done for the day because I can’t tell the difference between N1,000 and N500.

“It’s also about whether I was cheated or not, in most cases I am cheated, most of the time I come home with just N400.

“Sometimes people will give me N100 and they will get the balance back. But I don’t think about it. I know they are fooling themselves, ”the seller said.

Olukerede asked people to help him to watch

for something else to do.

“I have kids, I have so many things I’m supposed to do. If I do my furniture job, I know what I earn than this one, ”Olukerede said.

The seller said a private vehicle usually transported him from Aiyetoro to Iyana Ipaja, where he collects the newspapers daily.

He also told NAN that sometimes when the vehicle does not show up, his

woman hawking to Iyana Ipaja market would take her to the bus stop to

board a commercial bus.

“In Iyana Ipaja, I have someone who will bring me the papers. So from there some people will now help me. I have drivers who know me too.

“As soon as they see me, they take me to the Olanade crossroads. From there I will now come to Gowon Estate.

“If I want to cross the road, I will say my brother please, I want to cross the road and someone will help me,” he said. (NAA)

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