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Mary Sewonou, a participant and an exhibitioner at the hybrid Global Disability Summit organised by UNFPA Ghana on the 16th and 17th of February 2022 shared her experience of how she became an able business woman despite her disability. Upon approaching Mary, she welcomed us with a huge smile on her face and a friendly demeanor. She was more than eager to share her story. With that same big smile on her face, she recounted the unfortunate story as to how she had ended up having a disability. Mary was not born with a disability, but had become a person with a disability as a result of a mis-diagnosis. She had fallen sick at the age of five. Upon being rushed to the hospital, and receiving a couple of injections in her legs from the health professionals, her family came to the alarming realization that her legs had swollen up to abnormal proportions. After subsequent treatment to try and curb her body’s reaction to the drugs, the doctors informed her parents with the sad news that her ability to move freely on her own, would forever be impeded.


As a result of her impeded movement, Mary was bullied in school due to the fact that she now had to use a wheelchair to navigate her movements around the school grounds and her community. She struggled to deal with this emotionally and made the difficult decision of dropping out of school. Against all odds, Mary, today, owns her own business, working as a fashion designer making beautiful dresses and shoes. She emphasizes the need for persons with disabilities to have a job and to do something with their hands. She stated that life itself is difficult, so one should try their best to encourage themselves through the love and support of friends and family, as well as earning some form of income to take care of themselves.