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A letter on World Vitiligo Day

A letter on World Vitiligo Day

June 25, 2015
Letter to Ogo, VITSAF by Yemi
Letter to Ogo, VITSAF by Yemi


Dear Ogo,

Today is June 25, a day set aside to set aside as World Vitiligo Day, your creation, your initiative.

While growing up, my first reaction to anyone living with vitiligo was to cringe at such sight and imagine the severity of the burns he/she had.

I was ignorant of such condition until my Uncle who is a Pharmacist enlightened me on it.

Just like most "albinos", many patients of Vitiligo are of low self esteem, little or no self confidence and victims of discrimination.

Vitiligo is a condition that causes the loss of skin colour in blotches and the extent and rate of colour loss from vitiligo is unpredictable.

It affects the skin on any part of your body. It may also affect hair, the inside of the mouth and even the eyes.

Ogo, we met some few years after you had, safe to say noticed your first "blotch, some 10 years ago.

It has been 10 years of rediscovery, rededication, and recovery of yourself and service to humanity.

I've met few people, and very few ladies with great purpose and vision, trust me, you're one of such rare beings.

You've been a great source of HOPE and STRENGTH to millions around the world.

You're one person millions of people look up to for support and ask "what's next?", you're one person I've not only come to admire, but also immensely respect.

Your beauty is enchanting, it was never altered, or destroyed. Your confidence is so inspiring, and your sense of self belief is worth emulating.

You plunged yourself into the noble cause. You gave everyone living with vitiligo not just a voice, but you gave them HOPE to carry on, and a chance at LIFE.. A chance to "live again"...a chance that they can be all what they ought to be with such condition.

It's more than advocacy, it's more of "Evangelism". A work which has taken you far and wide, a message far reaching, a vision globally accepted.

As we speak, I know you're somewhere in Anambra preaching the "Gospel", teaching and spreading the message of HOPE and LIFE to them.

You also shared with me how today became the World Vitiligo Day. You told me the story behind it, and the journey so far.

It was during a visit to your house and we got chatting, I said "Michael Jackson also had it" and your response was "that was why you chose June 25 as the World Vitiligo Day because it was the day he(MJ) passed on. I saw the pride and fulfilment in your eyes while at it. I said "pride" not with any derogatory intent as there was none, it was just a lady so extremely happy and glad she did something with such far reaching impact.

Ogo, you made me realise anyone can have it. You made me realise anyone who had been living a "normal and healthy" life can develop the condition at anytime. You made me realise we are all at risk of having it, but above all; you made me realise that one can and should always have a great life after such diagnosis.

I remember how stunned I was when you asked me to get you "dongoyaro oil". I never knew such existed before then. When I probed further, you said you needed it to try out a natural therapy for Vitiligo.

You are always quick to offer counsel and tips to people on how to deal and live with the condition.

You're so selfless that you are quick to give them referrals to where to get the drugs despite the fact that it could be gotten locally under your social enterprise. You also set up an office to give a meaning to the lives of everyone living with the condition.

My dear Ogo, as the world celebrate the World Vitiligo Day, your creation, I celebrate you, the person behind it, the fulcrum that drives it...

I celebrate this great day by appreciating the greatness of your selfless service to humanity.

Ogo, thank you for what you represent and will forever represent. I join you and millions around the world to celebrate and honour this day, the World Vitiligo Day..

Yours sincerely,

'Yemi Saka