My name is Moses Ige aka Mo’Zealah. Based in Lagos- Nigeria. 29 years of age living with sickle cell, type SS warrior. 

Both my parents were AS and they happened to give birth to me in a time when knowledge of sickle cell wasn’t pronounced. They were told I had a disorder then because I started showing symptoms early stage of my life. 

At about my 6th year, there was a lot I had to struggle with health-wise. I had back to back hospitalizations where I had serious pain episodes. I was different from other of my peers because I had restrictions in taking part in some activities. I had to go through stigmatization and folks made me feel like I was a moving ticking bomb that would explode at any unknown time but not for long.

Being deviant to my state of health, I tried acting like a normal kid like others only for me to find myself breaking over and over again. All happened because I was actually not a normal kid but one extra normal lad with differently shaped cells unlike those of the normal kids. School wasn’t all fun as I was always sidelined from what I loved to indulge in – football for example- I’d always be benched or cheerleader. 

Unto junior to senior high, the struggle continued. Missed classes and even when I denied my cells when asked why my constant health failings, some tend to guess I might have the banana shaped cells {my illnesses couldn’t just be ordinary except it was a spiritual fight}. In fact, there were many misconceptions about my ailment from different folks aside those tagging it to a spiritual warfare. 

Well, with my epileptic attendance at high school, I never had to repeat a class till I was done, yet, denied my true cells. 

Fast-forward to my early twenties after one of my long hospital stays where I had a narrow escape from death by the Sickles, I had to start listening to my doctors and others who understood how sickle cell could be curbed from causing the recurrent episodes of pain and hospital visits. I had to help myself and my family too as my health basically drained the family’s financial strength.

I decided to get along with others living with sickle cell, heard their stories and I was convinced I wasn’t alone with such ailment and I had to truly step up and accept my crescent or banana cells. I had to follow rules and I lived better. Acceptance here, is key to conquer. 

And despite facing complications till date, having to deal with everyday pain from Avascular Necrosis on both hips, I’m still sailing my ship. Yes, I do get the blows and hits in form of sickle cell crisis, truth is, I’m better off than when I was dodging the cells as what I was/am challenged with. Yes, it’s a challenge that I’ve accepted to kick it’s ass as it might present itself. 

Today, those cells have inspired me to become a better me. I have my head up to great aims. I’m an advocate and writer for the cause and I believe, one day, this dreadful disorder would be conquered. 

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