By Akeasha Boodie
“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes does not mean he lacks vision”- Stevie Wonder
There are some of us who can get to enjoy the Christmas season by admiring the Christmas trees and decorations, fairy lights and light ups that happen across Guyana. There are also some of us who do not appreciate the scenery around us during the festive season. Then there are some of us who cannot see the garlands in the house nor the lights outside, but we can use our creative vision and understanding to appreciate our surroundings.
Twenty-one year-old Ceion Rollox happens to fall into the third category. Ceion learnt that he was blind at the age of 14.
“I grew up in a family that had little in the way of financial assets, and as a result, struggled from time to time.”
“It was April 2011 when I went to bed quite normally and woke up completely blind. It was my worst fear come to life. I was devastated! After countless doctor visits, examinations and disappointments, I became depressed, as I was unsuccessful in regaining my eyesight.”
“After a short while, I began to accept my new reality, and decided that being blind will not stop me from achieving my goals and becoming successful in my life.”
At school, the Sophia resident encountered challenges, because he had lost his sight. But with his drive to be successful and reliable persons there to help him achieve his goals, he worked his way to becoming successful at school.
“At some point during this period, I was deemed a hopeless student. Nevertheless, with the support of the dedicated tutors at the Blind Society, I was able to defy the odds and achieve what many thought was impossible. I was fortunate enough to obtain five Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) subjects. After this achievement, I felt very optimistic about my future. Following my success at the CXC exams, I was granted a scholarship from the government of Guyana to attend the University Of Guyana; where I am currently pursuing a BSC in International Relations.”
“I am pursuing a tertiary education at the university, to attain the level of education needed for me to obtain a career that will afford me financial stability, to give my mother and myself a better life.”
He also joined the Blind Cricket Team, where he says he “became a fine cricketer with the drive to succeed and the desire to “prove everyone wrong who dared to say I will fail”. I became a real asset to my team. I was later selected to represent my country at the Blind Cricket Tournament that was held in St. Lucia.”
His passion for empowering youths led Ceion to founding a youth group in his community of Sophia. The name of the group is Sofia Independent Youth Movement (SIYM), it was founded in 2016. The aim of the group is to empower youths between age 14-30 through sports, recreation and social activities.
For Ceion, Christmas has always been good before and after losing his sight. Christmas is special to Ceion, despite not being able to see. He enjoys all the activities that take place during this period. He recalled that before he lost his sight he enjoyed Christmas, because it was at this time that he would get to see his family and friends. The unity was the most significant part of Christmas for him.
Now he still enjoys when family and friends come together. “Christmas means a lot to me, even after losing my sight [because] I get extra gifts from my friends.”
He also noted that “the part I still love with the season is a lot of drinking, dancing and eating.”
Some of us know that Christmas is approaching when we see the decorative lights, the Christmas trees and persons wearing the traditional red and green colours to celebrate the season. Ceion explained that he knows Christmas is coming “when Home Alone is streaming on the TV, and cleaning is going on in the home.”
He also explained that the aroma of food in the house also heightens his senses and excites him.
“I get excited when I smell the Christmas food it makes me get hungry and ready to eat; my favourite Christmas dish is Pepper-Pot.”
This year Ceion plans on spending Christmas with all of his family and friends and having fun with them. He has one true wish that he wants to be fulfilled.
“My one true wish for Christmas this year is for the coming year to be good and blessed for me.”
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