The strength of the woman as a burden bearer comes to the fore again in this courageous 28 years old, who defied her parents and married a blind man. Today, she is nursing her second baby of the marriage. GOD?S COVENANT SNR spent time with the couple at their home and reportsobanor
A look at Philip Obanor will tell you that fate is no respect?er of good looks. Fair and hand?some, Philip would fit admirably into any role in Nollywood, but he fell victim to grave physical and spiritual circumstances in a series of tragedies that caused his night to come in his early youth, when his strength was yet unex?pended.
The first of eight children born to Pa Obanor, a retiree of former National Electric Power Author?ity (NEPA) in Ondo State, Philip was faced with no resources to climb the ladder of education after his secondary school, but determined not to end up poor like his father, the young man launched himself into buying and selling of building materi?als with intent to raise money to further his education, but that ladder collapsed when his world suddenly sank into darkness at the age of 24.
?I started well and saved enough for seven years. I was pur?suing my admission in 1977; but while I was reading for my exams, I started having problems with my left sight, so I went to see a doctor. After close examination he told me I was suffering from glau?coma and cataract. The worst part was that he could not operate on the glaucoma; that I have to wait for the cataract to grow before it can be operated.?
Philip whose parents had mi?grated from Agenebode in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State to Ondo State where he was born, conceded it was the most painful waiting period of his young life. In his one bedroom apartment at the dead end of Oriyomi Ipaiye Street, otherwise known as Sunshine Street, Paiko, Orisunbare in Alimoso Local Government Area of Lagos State, Philip relieved the experience and the tragedy that followed his first attempt to operate the growth in his eye.
?I waited for five years before I was cleared for the operation; but while waiting for my turn at the theatre the following week, my father suddenly fell sick and died and within a few days. I was shocked confused.?
According to Bini custom, it is forbidding for a native to be bur?ied outside his village, so the fam?ily was faced with a dilemma. The money Philip had saved for his school which he was ready to put into the operation to recover his sight had to be used to transport his father?s corpse to Agenebode and meet other expenses.
?After the burial, my mother could not manage the feeding of the large family and it became a big challenge to me especially because I am the eldest and there was nobody to help me.?
As though all that was not enough, another problem stalked him for seven long years.
?In 2009, my right eye ball be?gan to pain so much that I had to go to Ikeja General Hospital and begged the doctor there to help me remove the eye ball complete?ly since I am not seeing with it in the first place, and the pain was tormenting me every day, but the doctor said the eye was already spoiled, anyway.
?He also warned me not to bother with the cataract and glaucoma operation in my left eye because both had gone be?yond any medical solution. I was devastated.?
But help came knocking as a reverend sister in the neighbor?hood offered to sponsor Philip to the Nigerian Handcraft School, air force base, Ikeja, where things began to take shape even for a blind man.
?I acquired skills in craft works. I learnt to weave baskets, make belts and shoes and even polythene bags. I also joined the music group and learnt to play the drum sets and talking drums; I then discovered I am good at composing and arranging songs so before I graduated, I organised a band of eight persons. All in the band with me were physically challenged but we play well.?
After graduation, Philip be?came an active member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and named his band the Tri?umphant Gospel Voices.
?I compose, arrange and sing all our songs and I sing in Eng?lish, Yoruba and my native lan?guage Edo and we do get book?ings to perform occasionally.?
Relieving his eager search for a wife, Philip said the thought has been with him while at the special school. ?I was aware that it will be very difficult to manage life on my own after I leave school so I prayed earnestly for God to give me a woman who will love and


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