UNBROKEN WINGS; THE GOLDEN EGGS

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Charles Shackleton Furniture and Miranda Thomas Pottery

Photo Courtesy:https://www.shackletonthomas.com

You may read the previous chapter 4 at: http://lubnah.me.ke/unbroken-wings-the-love-bird/

Like any other disabled, Nafisa suffers from the thought of her own expiration; what if she died before she got to achieve the main goals of Dear Diary? What is going to happen to ‘her baby’ as she calls it? Who is going to honour her legacy like she would want it done?

“The main goal for dear diary was to create awareness about disability and bring a stop to the stigma and have more people thinking about how to make our towns and buildings more disabled-friendly. However, Dear diary ended up being more of a charity group rather than an awareness group. Of course charity is a good thing, but awareness on disability and its acceptance in the community is way important too,” Nafisa says.

Again, just like any other disabled, Nafisa dreams of job opportunities for the disabled, she hopes for more schools and institutions with special care, she awaits the day when the community can allow marriages and friendships with the disabled like they are not any different.

“I have seen my members work hard towards my initiative but for the projects that we have done for the past six years, I have seen how relaxed they are with my presence. Some tend to take their roles less seriously because they know, even if they don’t do it, I will still do it myself. And sometimes we recruit people, assist them with what we can then just disappear. All these projects are not as easy as they seem. And this is what bothers me a lot and worries me too; whom should I trust and that I can rely on to keep the Dear Diary flag high after I am gone?”

With Nafisa having flipped into the 40 plus age calendar, it has become more difficult for her to do her projects like before. Her legs are giving away and her health isn’t getting any better. But then again, for what Nafisa has been able to achieve until now, she remains to be an inspirational figure. Her achievements in the Inner Wheel Club of Mombasa can’t be ignored either. During her chairmanship year, they were able to organize an eye and dental camp, they did a charity walk fundraiser, they had a celebration for the International Inner Wheel Day, and they were able to sponsor some girls for their education as well as a pre-Christmas event for deserving orphanage which used to happen every first week of December. Besides that, she also left a significant effect on the Rotaract and Rotary clubs of Mombasa (as mentioned in the earlier chapters).

“Inner wheel club was basically a club for the wives of the Rotarians but since I wasn’t married to any man let alone a Rotarian I wondered how I would join. I remember a friend once joking to me that I should get married to the only Rotarian left who was still a bachelor (laughs) but then it’s not that simple. Besides, I thought it was a limiting criterion for those who really wanted to join. Later on I met Atiya Kudrati who is a family friend and also Innerwheel member (since her husband is a Rotarian). She came to my place when my grandmother had passed away and she explained about the criteria having changed. If someone was once a Rotarian or if they had a relative in Rotary then they had access to join the club. Since I was previously a Rotaractor and my brother Husein, a Rotarian this made it more easy for me to join Innerwheel as it fitted the criteria. In 2009 was the year I joined Innerwheel and became the president from the year 2013 – 2015 June to June. I served two years. I thereafter met Poonam (who was the president before I took over). We became close to each other when one of the Innerwheel ladies Papi Oberoi passed away and I took over her position of secretary (before becoming president). Also because her late husband became paralyzed and lost his ability to walk in the later years of his life, she could very well relate to my suffering and survival,” Nafisa narrates.

“Nafisa’s family and mine have been family friends since our childhood. I was later the one who introduced her to Innerwheel for I was a member. For the years I’ve known Nafisa and her participation in Innerwheel, you’d never think she is a disabled. She can do whatever she wants, she is very dedicated and passionate and she always delivered perfect work in the projects. She was always participating not unless she was unwell or had an emergency. She is always inspiring and helping others; doing what others can’t do,” Atiya says.

Just before joining Inner Wheel, the chairman of APDK (Association for the physically disabled of Kenya) invited Nafisa to join association. At that time, Dear Diary had already come to life and was making such an amazing impression out there.

“I think the project that got me a lot of support was the ‘walk-the wild’ adventure in Tsavo that happened October last year, 2016. This was the first time I was operating everything from home and I had people updating me with everything that was happening. Mostly it was my brother Mustan, who was the main organizer, and then there was Musti, Kaboos and Kaif who helped greatly in making the adventure very successful as well as other members too.”
Despite Nafisa having great help for the adventure in the wild project, she still was there.

“Nafisa escorted us during our trip to Mackinon but then came back again the next morning to ensure that everything was okay. Mind you, the distance is very long for her and a tough journey, yet she still was there until the last minute ensuring all travelers were having all they needed,” Both Kaboos and Kaif narrate.

“Dear Diary is my baby,” Nafisa says, “and it is what has given me hope and reason to live until now. All these projects made me appreciate life and meet very lovely people in my life; friends who have been there for me, for better, for worse. You know, people like Kaif and Kaboos have made a very large impact in my life. Besides them being very supportive in my projects, they also make me really happy. I really respect them both so much and love them for being brotherly figures in my life. From when I got to know them, they made me forget my misery and my pain and they could just make me laugh until my ribs ache. Both have unique characters of their own but they always found a way to make my life more interesting. Before that, I was always miserable about how distant I am with my brothers and I always wished I would die before my mother or else how would I survive after she is gone? Well, the two of them coming into my life perfectly explains why we say, ‘people come into your life for a reason’ and in this case, it has been such a blessing. Nonetheless, there are a few more people who’ve helped me in my humanity projects and who have supported me tirelessly too. I’ll forever be grateful for that.”

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