Jidona Tawom is a person with physical disability from Shimankar in Shandam local government of Plateau State. He is from a family of six children and he became a person with disability when he was about ten years old after an illness. He is married and the marriage is blessed with two children.
In this interview with our correspondent in Jos, Bulus Bala Izang, he spoke on his vocation, education and family.
TQM. What will you tell your readers about your educational background?
Ans. I was not privileged to have any level of western education, because when I was growing up in the village, there was no school nearby for me to attend, not just me but my other siblings as well. But our younger siblings were fortunate at their time, the village was having a school.
TQM. What kind of training did you had when growing up to equip you for the future?
Ans. My parents took me to where I learnt how to repair television, radio and handsets. It is today my main source of earning a living, providing for my family as well as assisting one or two persons around.
TQM. Where are you doing your repairs from?
Ans. On graduation from apprenticeship, my parents rented a shop for me.
TQM. You were not opportune to have formal education. What is your children’s story with regards to western education?
Ans. They are yet to start schooling. My first child is getting to three years. I am hoping this year she will start school.
TQM. Who is going to pay for their education, when they do start schooling?
Ans. By the grace of God, I and my wife we will our best to sponsor my children’s education.
TQM. Is your wife a person with disability like you?
Ans. She is not a person with disability.
TQM. What work is she doing for a living?
Ans. She is into farming. I have a farmland where she is farming.
TQM. What is her level of education?
Ans. Secondary school.
TQM. You are a person with disability, what is your experience like with regard to discrimination or abuses?
Ans. I have not had much of such experience both at home and outside, even though children sometimes, on the streets do call me names, but when they get older they will understand.
TQM. How do you usually respond to such name calling by children?
Ans. I don’t do much but some members of our community whenever they are around where the children are calling me names, they do caution them. That is good enough for me.
TQM. What other work do you do apart from your repair work?
Ans. I am a farmer; I pay people to assist my wife in our farm.
TQM. What kind of crops do you cultivate?
Ans. We cultivate rice, yam, maize and some vegetables.
TQM. What are some of the assistance you have enjoyed from the government or other spirited members of your community towards your business or farming?
Ans. I have not gained anything from any of them. The only assistances I am having, is from my parents and some family members.
TQM. What is your personal call for assistances, to both the government and members of the community?
Ans. I need fertilizer and herbicides from government to help my farm products do better. He also call on Plateau State government to support persons with disabilities who are into farming with fertilizers and farm equipment to boost their productivity.
TQM. Thank you for granting TQM this interview.
Ans. Thank you.