“I desperately wanted to give up at the early stage, made suicide attempts twice” – Yetunde Ajani Raji
When you meet Yetunde you would think she has it all going well for her till you hear her story. Her zeal and optimism seems to be her secret weapon. She became an amputee same day she lost her husband in a fatal accident that almost took her life. .It was as if her life has been cut short. She rose from the ashes of the adversity and took responsibility for her life. In this interview, Yetunde reveals how she survived that dark phase in her life and how she is using her story to advocate for amputees and touch lives. In commemoration of the International day of persons with disability, we celebrate Yetunde and other amputees.
My name is YETUNDE MORENIKEJI AJANI RAJI, also known as Apple of God’s Eyes…I am a 46 years old pretty Amputee, widow, and a great mother of three children who are priceless gems. I am caring, sensitive, and adorable. I am a graduate of Banking and Finance from OSCOTECH and have a Post graduate diploma from Lautech. I was into Gold jewelry and lace/brocade business till we had our horrific road traffic accident in May 31st 2012. I got married to my best friend in 1996. My Adeniyi became my father, mother, brother, sister, a very faithful friend and of course my very first child right from the day we became one.. He was a very dedicated father, loyal husband to me, and a great friend to anyone, a mentor, excellent teacher and a son anyone would be proud to have. He was a wonderful physician, a great Consultant, an Hematologist with passion. A true medical practitioner to the core that observed all medical etiquettes… How I wish we have many of his kind in this country not just in medical field but in every corners of the sectors, the world might have been a better place.
The accident that changed my life
I lost the only friend I have (my hubby) the same day I became a Widow and an amputee and also lost my health on that terrific day that I wish I could erase from my calendar. The accident happened barely two weeks after my husband’s 47th birthday in a road traffic accident in the kingdom Of Saudi Arabia by a fellow that broke through that red light. That was how my dearest’s journey on earth was cut short and our lives were shattered, but God is ever faithful! The month of May happened to be my favorite in the past as it was hubby’s birthday month, 16th of May. The accident happened tragedy on May 31st…Just a day to our eldest son’s birthday which was 1st of June. My baby sister was meant to get married a month after the accident but the wedding had to be postponed because my hubby was scheduled to give out her hand in marriage. God, The Omnipotent, Omnipresent, The Alpha, The Omega gave me a special gift through my sister four years later. While I was crying that night because it was my “ampuversary night”, my sister gave birth to a baby boy same day and named him after my daughter in far away the United States. Honestly, for one to be truly happy, one need to let go of what’s gone completely and be grateful for whatever is left and look forward to what is coming next. That’s my approach to life issues now.
Life without my husband
I don’t just miss just one thing about him because, there is no way one will miss just one thing about such person.. He was a rare breed!!! He was light in every dark corner. I miss everything about him.. I miss his praises when I think I am not doing something the right way. I miss him scolding me whenever I was off the track. I sincerely miss our eating together, since I married him. We had no separate plates, even if we wanted to take local flakes-garri except when he was not in town or taking his coffee. I just started eating alone few years back, I have never being alone in my life’s journey. He was ever there, never absent.
Being an Amputee
Let me return all thanks to the Almighty God for this rare but great privilege of putting me in this position at this very moment to inspire millions, note that it could have been the other way round because, like I always tell people, if there was anyone that ought to have stay between husband and I, he should have been the one, what criteria God used, I don’t know.. He was just too good in every aspect of life. Let me state it here that my leg wasn’t amputated by any doctor, the left leg was actually cut off from the accident scene. The right one was meant to be amputated by doctors because, it was “badly broken” but was saved by open reduction with internal fixation surgery. Got plates and screws there. I never realised we have many Amputees around until I started getting inbox messages from some asking if I am truly an amputee till date. Some have been there before me but just couldn’t come out, some claimed to be ashamed of the “new them” but, I scaled that first hurdle of acceptance the moment my children accepted the new me, Their new mummy with still old affectionate, caring and dotting heart.
Writing a Book
I am working on a book that I want the entire world to read and never get tired of reading… I want to be a rainbow in those depressed and frustrated souls, I want God to use my story to lift people. I remember i went for this inspirational TV program last year and was told they will not air the program much latter without any pictures backup.. Because, my story to them sounds/looked like one from a movie scene. Of course, I did not have pictures but while talking to a friend about it months after, I got some pictures of after how the accident occurred, gave them to the TV show, and that was how the program went on air and I tell you, I started getting calls even when I go to market, malls, I hear things like.. “Madam, your story restore lost something in me”… Oh!! You’re Mrs Raji, I thought it’s all over but, listening to your scary story put everything back”..
I remember a scenario of a guy trying to market his product and after telling him I wasn’t interested, he turned and asked, “ Are you Mrs.Raji Yetunde and when I said yes, he was so excited. He said you’re a winner and I love your killer voice no one will miss that.
I am a Woman of Rubies
I am a Strong Woman Of Rubies because, I am very thankful for all setbacks and comebacks. I am a special woman that was put into that ‘HOT FIRE AND I CAME OUT STRONGER AND BETTER AND STILL VERY DESIRABLE TO EVERY GOOD SOUL’ especially to those that have fear of God.
I can never ever thank God enough, it could have been worse you know. Awesome Is My God. Thank you for this opportunity. God bless all the great fathers out there. God bless all wonderful mothers. God bless single fathers/mothers playing duo role. God bless every physically challenge out there. God bless and ease daily Amputees affairs. God please bless my children for accepting the new me.