Chizoba Francess Obanye may not be a household name, but her strength of character is what sets her apart from her peers. The circumstance surrounding her existence is peculiar. Chizoba from age nine has been living her life with injuries, which she has not allowed to define her person. How did she get here? She’s a victim of acid attack. But she is not ashamed of her appearance even though she feels bad about her situation.
A graduate of Biochemistry from Anambra State University, she has been living as an acid attack survivor since the tender age of 9.
According to her, her uncle’s wife meant to throw the acid on her brother whom she had issues with but she became the victim instead. From the day she bathed her with acid till date, nobody has seen her. She ran away after the incident and still hasn’t been found.
Chizoba says she feels bad sometimes but because she is surrounded by friends and family she has been able to cope and live a normal life, well almost.
In an interview with The Next Edition (www.nextedition.com.ng), Chizoba narrates her ordeal.
TNE : Please tell us about yourself
I am Obanye Frances Chizoba, 23 years old and the last child of my parents. I studied Biochemistry in Anambra State University and I am from Onitsha North in Anambra State.
TNE : Without much ado, can you please tell us how the acid incident occurred?
I was poured acid by my uncle’s wife very early in the morning around 5 a.m when I was sleeping. They were having issues with my family but she escaped after the incident.
TNE: What has it been growing up with these scars? How did you get through it in school?
A lot of challenges but God’s Grace sustained me. When I was in school they treated me special because they felt if they flogged me when I did something bad that it would hurt me. But to me, I didn’t like it, it hurts me more when I’m not being treated like every other person. It makes me feel different from other people and I want to believe that I’m not.
TNE : Do you sometimes feel depressed?
Sometimes I feel bad, which is normal but it doesn’t last long because i am always with my good friends.
TNE : How did you get in contact with KBK foundation to sponsor your surgery?
A friend of mine whom I met on Instagram, Xandie by name referred me to KBK Online Foundation to seek for help, which I did immediately.
It was not easy getting to him, at a point I stopped not until one faithful day the foundation was doing a giveaway, then I went to my Facebook wall and told my friends to go to the foundation’s page and tag me so I will be able to get his attention. This was how KBK noticed my name and the foundation started a fund raising for me the next day which was successful.
TNE : Have you been able to go for the surgery yet?
I was waiting to finish my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) first. I am now getting ready for it although it is supposed to be in the United States but the estimate they gave to us is so high, so we decided to go to India.
However, if I am to make a choice, I would have preferred United States of America but that is not within my ability.
TNE : You just completed your National Youth Service, how was your experience and where did you serve?
Chizoba: My service was an awesome year and I served in Asaba, Delta State.
TNE : Can you please tell us what inspires you daily?
The zeal to live and to become someone great makes me want to live.
TNE : What do you advice people who face challenges like yours?
To keep it real no matter how hard it is. And also do not allow your scars to define you.
TNE : How can you be contacted by people who want to render some form of help?
They can reach me through this number : 08164080060. Thank you.
TNE : Thank you Chizoba for your time, we wish you success in your future endeavours.