Martina Solomon

Scholarship Helps Teenage Breast Cancer Survivor Move Forward


Published: June 20, 2019, 3:27 p.m.

Girls with disabilities are regarded as the most disadvantaged in almost all societies across the world. Their impairments either slow down their general progress or denies them opportunities that could make them successful or even less respectable and sometimes subject to ridicule. Despite obvious reasons, Martina Solomon is pushing the boundaries.

Born in the Jos metropolis to a local businesswoman for a mother and an unemployed father, the twenty-year-old and hearing impaired confined, confidently, that someday she desires to become a medical doctor so that she can treat children with disabilities.

Like many other couples, the joy of welcoming a baby knows no bounds but the knowledge of having a baby with an impairment comes with excruciating pains or even is regarded as a curse in some African societies. ‘I felt at that point like God decided to punish us for our sins’ Martina’s mum expressed despairingly. Not sure of what to do with Martina as she began to grow, her mother began to teach her all kind of trades. She did and taught her all the skills she thought she could so that her daughter will earn a living for herself as she grew.

Martina was taken to school for the first time at the age of eight when her parents learnt of an affordable special school in Gindirin the community where they live. Martina isn’t regarded as the brightest in her class but she learns enthusiastically, ‘she is also very reserved and her general conduct is satisfactory’ Mrs Dalong her principal attested.

At the age of sixteen, while in senior secondary school 1 (SS1) Martina was diagnosed with breast cancer. To save her life, her parents used their life’s savings, selling the only plot of land they had for a breast surgery which was successful, but her parents were left with no resources for Martina to continue her education. Martina had to put into use the skills she learnt from her mother to make a living. She baked, sewed, made beads and local toiletries which she sold in her community while she saved to accomplish her dream of becoming a medical doctor.

On the day Martin’s mother stepped into Inclusive Friends Association’s Office, anxiety was written all over her expressions, she looked typical of a mother and an African one at that. With stress lines on her forehead and amidst light sweats, she asked roughly, “Is this IFA? I have a deaf daughter who needs help.”

I feel happy to inform you that today, Matina Solomon is back in school and is preparing for her senior-level school certificate exams.