World sickle cell awareness day was two days ago (19th of June) and already, terrible news hit the internet about one of the pioneers of Hip Hop losing his life to the diseases. Prodigy of Mobb Deep, who was 42, died from complications as a result of sickle cell anaemia. The artist suffered from health issues throughout his life and had long suffered from sickle cell anaemia, a condition in which red blood cells contort into a sickle shape and die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells. The condition can lead to a painful blockage of blood flow. He was hospitalized a few days ago in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anaemia crisis. May he rest in peace.
Over here in Nigeria, film maker Wana Udobang released a documentary, ‘warriors’ to raise awareness of the disease in the country. Her documentary interviewed 5 people who battle with sickle cell anaemia. It takes an in-depth look into the lives and experiences of people living with Sickle Cell disease. Wana’s work is very important as it demystifies and humanises this disease, which is very important. The prevalence of Sickle cell disease in Nigeria is 20%-30%. There is currently still no cure but there are promises seen with invitro fertilisation, although very expensive.
A warrior’s story needs to be told over and over, far and wide. It is the story of survival against the tide of pain, medical bills, and the emotional upheaval of living with #sicklecell.
As the world honours and celebrates people living with the sickle cell disorder, this creates awareness for sickle cell and shows us what it is to live with it. The series kicks off with Toyin Oshinowo – whose raw, truthful insight into her experience will leave you thinking about the sheer strength of will, mind and heart.
“Pain is complicated” – Toyin Oshinowo.
Watch the documentary below: