5 minutes with CHINWE IROMUANYA
she is the founder of The enabled life organization, an nGo borne out of the passion to transform the lives of people living with challenges, especially but not exclusively to people with cerebral palsy. she said no one understands the person living with disabilities like another person who has gone through the same experiences. she believes that the time has come for disability advocacy to be put in the hands of people who understand disability and its peculiar challenges. her organization is fully run by individuals living with different types of challenges but are accomplished in their different endeavors. her vision is to change the way nigeria views people living with challenges. she wants to introduce the “new face of disability.” she hopes that through her work , those discrimination against them will be enlightened. Born Chinwe Promise anyaehie to the family of late Chief J. R. anyaehie, Chichi has risen against all odds to be the first person living with cerebral palsy to graduate from nigerian law school, lagos in 1989. she desires nothing more than to see people get past their limitations and thrive. Chichi believes that everyone should be empowered to do their best. she is also an author, motivational speaker, minister and health coach. living with cerebral palsy. has not stopped her in any way but has spurred her to be the best. she is happily married to her law school heartthrob Br. Tony iromuanya and they have four wonderful boys. she is an epitome of strength and character to all around her, having a great desire to carry as many people as possible along with her. she recently founded The enabled life to help her better serve the disabled community The nGo will be launched on the 17th of July 2017. she speaks excitedly about it. “it will be an enabling platform for people with challenges. a support structure not just medically or financially but a way to boost their self confidence. it all starts in the mind and having the right mind set is the greatest asset one could have. it will be a rallying point where we draw from each other’s strength”. The launch will showcase various talents including The Jesus People enabled Band, also there will be a fashion show and a host of other interesting activities. To assist with medical bills and other life building venture, fundraising will also be a part of the event. Chi chi uses her captivating stories to encourage others on Facebook. you can find her under the name Chi Chi iro or on her website. www.theenabledlife.org
what inspired you to set up this ngo?
i was born with physical disabilities myself. i was born with cerebral palsy in nigeria at a time that people with disabilities stood no chances. i had no role models growing up. i personally had to overcome great odds to get to the life of my dreams. my passion has been to be that role model for those coming behind me. how have you been able to deal with the challenges of disability?
By believing in god and myself. the love of my husband and four children. the love of my family and friends. Of course i was raised by a mother that was determined to make me the best i could be. what is the most frustrating perception you get from able bodied people? the stares. i hate when people stare at me because i am not ordinarily aware of my disabilities. apart from the physical challenges, how best will you advice those in the same situation to develop a mental healthy approach to life and it’s challenges?
like i said believing in the word of god that says you are fearfully and wonderfully made and believing in your self. you are the only person that can define you. no one was created and perfect. Do you do any form of exercise to strengthen your bones or any particular diet you follow to be fitter and stronger?
i have been blessed with great genes but as i get older i discover that you need more than great genes to preserve your body. i am also a certified health coach so i know the advantage of balancing the body, soul and spirit. i try to avoid sugar and carbohydrate. i eat a high protein diet. i always keep active, i do a lot of housework, being a wife and mother of four sons. i walk, lift weights, get on the elliptical and do resistance exercises. i find that keeping active makes me stronger. who has been your pillar of strength through trying times?
my wonderful husband. i have other great support. my four sons and my siblings. i have great family support. i also have great friends. what parting shot do you have for those in similar circumstances to give them the inspiration and confidence to believe they can achieve their desired goals?
there is nothing you want to do that you cannot accomplish. you are the only one that can stop yourself. it may not be easy but be focused and you will succeed. do not let the discrimination around you stop you. no one is perfect. we are differently enabled. lastly, who or what inspired you enough to believe in yourself and your ability to achieve what you have till date?
god, my late mother lady Beatrice umeadi anyaehie, she let me know at an early age that excuses were not acceptable, my day dreams (i created the life i have now in my dreams and believed it was possible). i also mastered the art of celebrating my assets while minimizing my abilities. Of course the icing on the cake was my husband of 24 years and my best friend, Barrister tony iromuanya. he is such an incredible husband. i would not have been the woman i am today without him.