Kwasi has a left hand of contorted fingers.
In the sweltering heat in Amasaman in Accra, sweat is breaking down his face. But the salty beads don’t harass his smile as he talks to JoyNews’ Patricia Rockson Hammond.
He has lost a left foot but his partner Eric has lost a right leg. What little is left of it, contorts and clutches firmly around his clutch. That is all the stability he needs to shove sand and mix mortar along with one-armed Kweku.
A cast of four persons with disabilities contracted in a company that builds houses for predictably, fully-abled persons.
Scattered across the country, Kasoa, Kumasi and Techiman, they find their way to Accra when a job comes and united them in a company that stoically wanted to give persons with disability, a chance.
“I don’t see myself as disabled,” Kwasi concluded glancing at his contorted fingers and adds defiantly, “I cannot beg.”
With one leg, Eric finds sitting down idle, a disability. It is getting up and showing up that he is most able to do. “It was perfect,” he beamed in the sun.
“So I started digging, manholes and foundation digging,” he explained his work with professional pride.
“I can mix 30 bags of cement into mortar a day,” he made a boast supported by toned biceps ready to back it up.
Micheal and Kweku lacking a foot and an arm respectively, paid great respect to their boss Samuel Obeng, who handed them a chance to do masonry.
Samuel Obeng founded Talent Hour, an NGO that looks for persons with disability who hold their chin up in life. He has been helping for close to a decade, until he decided to register the NGO in 2016, he said.
Mr. Obeng expressed a deep desire to help people like Mike, Kweku, Eric and Kwasi. The sight of the plight of persons with disability plagues him, he explained to JoyNews at the Amasaman construction site.
Would he like some help from businesses, government or individuals with a building contract to give? Yes, he affirmed.
He was once like them too. But that was a long time ago. He went blind for seven hours when he was a child. But since his eyes opened, he sees even more clearly than many.
He sees a vision to support those who want to be accepted in their own society and supported to see beyond their own disabilities.