Wheelchair Accessible

The Wrong One, a Nigerian film written by Chisom Juliet Okereke flips the script on disability. 

Victor, played by Muna Obiekwe is a highly educated businessman in a wheelchair.  His demeanour has money written all over it.  He commands respect and receives it like most men with eight digit bank balances.
He’s also shrewd in the way he sets out to win Sylvia’s heart (Chioma Chukwuka).  His arsenal is multiplied when Sylvia’s boyfriend leaves her for his secretary. 

Victor’s moves are typical of men who use money to get what they want.  His disability becomes an issue when Sylvia’s mother rejects him brutally, in his face.

That is when Victor crumbles, takes to the bottle and thinks about his life in a wheelchair.  The Wrong One is fiction but it brought home the ugly truth, that I seldom associate people in wheelchairs with love. 

I exploit things that are made to make their lives a little bit easier, like using a ramp made for wheelchairs instead of walking up just four steps.  I don’t push mall doors but press the round door openers made for wheelchair users.

The multiple thoughts I have about them do not include love.  I don’t remember thinking about their girlfriends or husbands.  People fall in and out of love.  C’est la vie, pardon my French. 
Being in a wheelchair does not negate their attractiveness or sensuality.  Muna Obiekwe gives a stellar performance as the sensual Victor.  The way he looks at Sylvia doesn’t need a second opinion.
The way I look at people like Victor is not admirable.  I avoid eye contact for many reasons.  I don’t want them to think that I pity them.  I’m afraid that they will get offended if I step aside so that they can get in the library elevator first. 

Most of all, I’m afraid that it could be me.   That constant fear is therefore a disability.  People who live with the aid of a wheelchair have other things on their minds and not that fear.  They have places to go and people to see. 


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