Jodie pleads for support to care for her ‘special needs’ child
Singer, Joy Eseoghene Odiete popularly known as Jodie, whose hit single, ‘Kuchi Kuchi’ (Oh! Baby) was a favorite piece to many Nigerians, has taken to social media to appeal for funds to survive and care for her special need child.
Jodie whose 6-year-old son, Chinua lives with cerebral palsy, opened up about the realities of raising a special needs child in a touching post where she also revealed that the hospital where she had her son is to blame for his condition.
The singer, who also added that she would have gone to a general hospital if she knew how things would turn out, said that because of her son’s disability, she cannot keep a relationship as her “soul is shattered”.
She further explained that her son’s health condition has turned her into a beggar.
She wrote: “My finances have been swallowed. My friends have abandoned me because I’m a beggar. My debts are new every morning.”
She disclosed that special needs children don’t eat regular food and need special care and this drains finances of parents.
She added that many have advised her to kill her child, Chinua, “because such children are sent to swallow up finances.”
She said she has done all sorts of jobs to provide for her child but the expensive child care takes it all.
She added that her son’s situation makes her fall ill “almost every 3 weeks due to stress”.
The singer then said that her and other special needs parents have suffered alone for too long because they have been ashamed of the stigmatisation.
But she says this shame has to end so they can get help for their children.
“We are now shameless. We are now helpless. We have gone mad… We need a permanent solution,” she wrote.
She then called on the government, non-governmental organisations and other authorities to provide a “permanent solution” for the care of special needs children so that parents will not have to go broke to care for their special needs kids.
She concluded: “My head is heavy. My eyes hurt, because I cry every night. Don’t wait for singer of Kuchi Kuchi to die first before you do a memorial service while her child is left to suffer. Do not spend a dime when I’m dead. Do all you can about it now while I’m alive. I beg you Nigerians.”
Jodie was married to actor David Nnaji, the father of Chinua, but the marriage went South shortly after the birth of their son. David then welcomed a baby girl with another woman.
Read Jodie’s full post below.
AN OPEN LETTER (Pardon) This message is not for the Kings, Queens or Men and Women of substance of Nigeria. This message is for the sons, daughters, servants, security agents, concubines….ANYBODY whom the Kings and Queens have a soft spot for their opinions.
I would have paid a media crew, to make a compelling and attractive video, but, please forgive me… I cannot afford it now.
I am not a lazy person. I sang a song, Kuchi Kuchi in 2010, which Kings and Queens have listened to and enjoyed. I am using the soft spot that song may have created to make this appeal.
In the past 6 years, I have hawked beaded jewellery in offices like Total, Noah’s Ark, DDB etc. I have sold hair care products. I have begged. I have borrowed. Nigerians are kind. Even Bellanaija has sent me 100k… I have been a beneficiary of Air Peace’s Thursday session with the Chairman as a social responsibility to help the less privileged – SEVERAL TIMES.
The truth is, I am a NOBODY, but I was inspired, years ago to sing a song even when I didn’t know myself – a song that still resonates till date. Who knows? Maybe the essence of Kuchi Kuchi was not for my popularity, but to respond to the silent cries of mothers who gave birth to special needs children. Maybe its essence was to speak for the blood of the special needs children that has been spilled IN SECRET by helpless mothers who did not know what else to do. I know this, because some strangers have advised me to kill or abandon my son, because such children are sent to swallow up finances.
My finances have been swallowed. My friends have abandoned me, because I am a beggar. My debts are new every morning. But I am a mother who would rather DIE first before her son does not eat.
Special needs children do not eat normal food. Special needs children need a lot of medical, emotional, etc care. Special Needs children require the help of well established world-class organisations, because it is not their fault that they were born that way.
In my case, the hospital I delivered my son had a hand in it. I blame myself for not going to a general hospital. It is past. There is nothing I can do about it now.
Part 2 I am unable to stay in a relationship, because my soul is shattered. I am a wounded animal, but love still lives in me.
This public cry is not for me. This public and shameless cry of mine is for the SPECIAL MOTHERS OF NIGERIA.
We have been ashamed for too long, because of the stigmatisation. Some people accuse you of trying to abort your baby, even though they have no proof. Some people call you an evil spirit. Many will hide their children from your own, because they are afraid that your “evil” child may give them “affliction”. It is true that some girls tried abort pregnancies, causing such, but what of the married women? What of the women who have 3, 4, 5 special kids? Did they all try to abort their own too?
I am willing to show the public test results to prove that I did not try to abort Chinua. But that will not save the Nigerian Special Mothers. Our fighting chance to the already-tough terrain of the country has been cut short, because we have to carry over-grown babies on our backs. How can we hustle?
I plead to the powers that be to start one step at a time URGENTLY to do something. Please consult Madam Nonye of the Cerebral Palsy Centre – she is my mother in this plight.
I need blogs to talk about this. I need celebs to talk about this. I need all the politicians who are trying to change Nigeria in 2023 to add this to their agendas. I need musicians to sing about this. I need random strangers to give MONEY to every random special mother they know, because we are now handicapped. We cannot work.
I will continue fighting. My saving grace is that I have a roof over my head, a family that cares (though they have their challenges), a smart phone that was gifted to me by a total stranger – Mrs. A from Abuja… goodwill… etc. I have mercy, but many special mothers do not have what I have.
We are now shameless. We are now helpless. We have gone mad, so forgive us for not being able to comport ourselves sometimes – we are trying really HARD to appear NORMAL.
We need a permanent solution. Money is not the only answer – the care a special kid requires is not from one person’s purse.
Part 3 Please help me tag the blogs I didn’t tag. I am recovering. I have been ill. I fall ill almost every 3 weeks due to stress – even though I have help.
THIS IS NOT A POPULARITY STUNT. Tag EVERYBODY. I cannot do a video today. Please, media houses, originise yourselves and translate my message in ways that people can UNDERSTAND.
I need to rest today. My head is heavy. My eyes hurt, because I cry every night. Don’t wait for the singer of Kuchi Kuchi to die first before you do a memorial service, while her child is left to suffer. Do not spend a dime when I’m dead. Do ALL YOU CAN NOW about this while I’m ALIVE.
I beg you, Nigerians.