By Chinonso Ihekire
Anyone who was familiar with the hits of the 2010s would remember Joy Odiete and her evergreen Afro RnB bop, Kuchi Kuchi.
The song which was the talk of the town saw the West African Idol finalist soar to the zeniths of success in the industry, until a myriad of issues, including her lingering struggle with her child’s illness, kept the spotlight away from her. Now, in a shocking twist, the chanteuse has taken to her social media page to vent on how her travails with her son’s illness – diagnosed as Cerebral Palsy – continue to take joy and finances away from her life.
According to her, she had been advised by strangers to murder her 6-year-old son, Chinua, as his healthcare management continued to gulp most of her funds.
She narrated, “In the past six years, I have hawked beaded jewellery in offices like Total Plc, 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 100,000 Naira. 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 no-body, but I was inspired, years ago, to sing a song even when I didn’t know myself – a song that still resonates to 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 spilt in secret by helpless mothers. 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.”Blaming her son’s condition on an unidentified private hospital where she birthed him, she ended up admonishing other mothers of children with special needs to remain steadfast and loving towards their wards.
The singer has also taken to her social media to continue drawing awareness on children with cerebral palsy, including setting up crowd-funding attempts to help establish special care centres for them in the country.