While it may be true that the beautiful ones are mostly not yet born, it is sad that little or no attention is often paid to the safety of the few who are with us. And so, the world’s unending tragedy is that they have their beauty die with them before harvest season. Lawal Adedipupo Hafiz is one of such blossoming beauties, above whose petals the hands of malady hover to wreak irredeemable havoc. And today, ever since he was involved in a ghastly accident months ago, the fate of this young man and that of his tall dreams lie in the hands of Good Samaritans, wherever they may be.
Dipo, as he fondly called, was one of the pioneer builders of The Space Club at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (Akure), which is in fact the largest of its kind in Africa. According to his close friend, Temidayo Oniosun, a Space Scientist and Software Developer, he has known Dipo since 2011 and he is one of the finest people he has worked with. One of the projects was the launching of a balloon into space in 2015 and using that to measure the concentration of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere.
“He was very instrumental to the success of all the projects we did when he was around. He’s the kind of person who is not okay with the status quo. He is very passionate about not just living but making significant impact in the society,” Temidayo said. He also mentioned that Dipo is great footballer with outstanding skills, but has been divorced from his favourite sport since he was involved in a road accident in late 2016 that permanently destroyed his spine.
“Oladipupo also plays good football,” he said. “He is so good that he can make it at the professional stage. It is unfortunate that he has been unable to do this since he had the accident.” He added, “Dipo is no ordinary person. He is one of those few people who make others believe in this country. Losing him will be a great loss to our nation.”
Signed by Dr Oluwakemi Aderonke and addressed to the Registrar of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, his medical report from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, reveals that he has been diagnosed of traumatic myelopathy. The document also states that as a result of an accident in which he was involved, he is unable to move his upper and lower limbs, and has bisphincteric dysfunction and numbness below the shoulder level. In simpler terms, he is unable to do anything for himself and by himself.
To bounce back to life and bring his dreams for Nigeria into reality, Dipo needs a stem cell transplant, the only known procedure that can make him lead a normal life; an electric and manual combined wheel chair to aid his movement; and plastic surgery to heal bed sore suffered as a result of his long-term confinement to the bed. Lawal Adedipupo is a rising Sun facing an impending eclipse, a burning candle ravaged by the winds of circumstances and a towering talent overshadowed by the dark clouds of anguish. Indeed, this nation suffers from a shortage of good, hardworking, visionary men. And nothing can be more tragic than having one less.
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