Despite being physically challenged, 26-year-old Nakoja Bismark has defied all odds to pursue his dream of becoming a journalist.
After sitting at home for 2 years after completing Senior High School in 2018 due to financial difficulty, the ever-determined Bismark gained admission to pursue a diploma in a journalism course at the Tamale Learning Center of the Institute of Business Management and Journalism.
It was half-past 8 on Friday morning, when I arrived at Bismark’s hostel at Kanveli Tunayili in Tamale.
By the time the news team arrived, Bismark had already prepared and was ready for lectures. After exchanging greetings with him, he climbed onto his bicycle which was parked outside and off he left for lectures.
From Bismark’s hostel to the school is some 15 minutes walk.
We arrived at his school and he got into the lecture hall.
The lecturer was yet to report for his lesson so I took advantage to engage Bismark.
Nanas, as he is affectionately called by his course mates, hails from Kpassa in the Oti Region.
He told me after completing Senior High School in 2018, he could not further his education due to financial difficulty.
He had to engage in farming for two years to mobilize money to further his education.
While at home farming to gather money, Bismark developed interest in journalism after watching one of the exposé’s of award-winning investigative journalist Anas Armeyaw Anas on YouTube.
I asked Bismark why of all the professions in this world he decisively chose to be a journalist.
“I chose to do journalism because I believe I can also make an impact just as my mentor Anas Armeyaw Anas.”
But does he feel intimidated by his friends per his condition?
“I don’t see myself as a disabled person. Even though I move about in a wheel chair, but I can do everything for myself.”
One of Bismark’s friends, Dakpanaa Cyril, sees Bismark as a different person with a disability.
He said Bismark epitomizes the saying; disability is not inability.
Mahama Nuhu, a lecturer at the school told the news team, the school recognizes the difficulties Persons With Disability go through in accessing educational institutions.
He indicated the school has trained over 10 persons with disability which is an indication of its readiness to provide equal opportunity for all.
He shared his experience with Bismark.
“IBM&J as an institution provides equal opportunity for all manner of persons and Bismark is one such example.”
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals explicitly include disability and persons with Disabilities 11 times.
Although the word ‘disability’ is not cited directly, it is relevant to ensure the inclusion and development of persons with disabilities.
Like Bismark, many other persons with disabilities are striving to chase their long-lived ambitions.
Perhaps, Bismark will need the support of the general public to get himself gadgets including cameras to make his dream of becoming the second Anas Armeyaw Anas a reality.