Tunde is a chartered accountant that lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s always great to learn from sickle cell warriors in other countries, and you all know we love seeing life from the male perspective. In addition, Tunde is single and way too fabulous to be single. So ladies in Nigeria [and abroad], here is your chance to snag a good Christian man. Let me know if you want his email addy!
How old where you when you found out you had sickle cell?
I have known my genotype as far as I can remember.
How were you able to cope with school and sickle cell?
Yes. I can practically count those times when I had crisis during exams. About 3 occasions: Primary 3; JSS 3 and 300 level. (Wow! Never noticed the coincidence);
How did your childhood and your parents influence you in your choice of career?
In fact, the JSS 3 [grade 9] episode which hampered my performance at the time is a factor in my being a chartered accountant
today. I had always wanted to be a pharmacist.
So it sounds like you had to readjust your dreams to realign with the realities of sickle cell disease. What kind of experience and schooling does one need to get your job?
A first degree [Bachelors’] or its equivalent and a professional accounting certification which happens to be the challenge for many.
Yeah, even in the US, passing the CPA exam is quite a feat. Describe a typical day on your job.
Typically, I get up by 6am. I have had to focus my job search on a radius that promises less stress via traffic. I am a Management Accountant in a quoted company and my reporting line requires deadline compliance and controls. I have to be at work by 8am and close officially by 7pm (which extends in most cases);
That looks like an 11 hour work day, not to mention the hour long commute both ways. How do you manage SCD and still maintain a thriving career?
Stress management, a good diet and proper medication. I take a lot of rest on weekends, though scarcely these days as I also serve as Treasurer in the Exco and coordinate the youth fellowship in my church; but I still manage a healthy dose of rest at every opportunity. I must not fail to mention the kind and spirited support of those God has planted around me: a loving mother, wonderful siblings, great Pastor and his caring wife etc.
Have you noticed a difference in how your coworkers treat you once they know you have SCD?
As a result of previous experiences where I feel stigmatized, I’d rather they don’t know and I only disclose to those that are close;
I have heard that the stigma in Nigeria when it comes to sickle cell makes it quite challenging. I can see why you would only tell your closest friends. Back to the occupational questions, what advice would you give to someone wanting to join your profession that has sickle cell?
Manage stress, be on a good diet and your medication; avoid extremes (like reading overnight), you must PLAN your time. Its key.
When you do reach obstacles in your life, what helps you through it?
I remember that I am here to demonstrate and leave a legacy on the “strength of God being perfected in man’s weakness”. I just believe anything is possible no matter what! That picture I see of God holding up my life, to challenge someone else who is giving up just keeps me going.
Do you have regular pain (more than 2x a week)?
Not really. But I have had to cope with Nephrotic [Kidney] Syndrome for 11 years now.
How do you cope with this when you are working?
Usually the crises I have are scarce, nocturnal and severe ones. But when mild, I take a lot of water and seek fresh air. Sometimes it works. If not, I visit the clinic immediately.
What is your daily medication regimen and what medications do you take when you are in pain?
Folic Acid, B complex, Vit C and Paludrine + the Nephrotic Syndrome drugs. In pain, my MD administers morphine.
If you aren’t single and fabulous:), please tell us about your significant other.
I love that: I’m single and fabulous! I was supposed to get married to someone with AA, but that ended up not happening for other reasons.
Looking at the 14 year old version of yourself, what would you tell him or her if you could…? [stextbox id=”custom”]Be strong! If you are 14, you can be 28, 42 and well over 56. While you are at it, God deserves a vantage place in your life. If I were you, I’d just hand it over to HIM.[/stextbox]
Make the best of your every moment in life; don’t be like the proverbial servant who saw no good in one talent. Invest your life in God’s business and service to humanity, and reap bountifully here and hereafter!
Thank you Tunde! God bless you in all your future endeavors!