Man Living With Cerebral Palsy, Joshua Sopeju, Beats The Odds to Become Computer Science Graduate

Joshua Sopeju, a 30-year-old Nigerian man with cerebral palsy – a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination and caused by damage to the brain, has beaten all odds to make himself and family members proud.

Sopeju was among 14,771 graduates of the National Open University Nigeria, Abuja awarded degrees in various disciplines during the last convocation ceremony of the institution, Punch reports.

Despite living with cerebral palsy, Sopeju who studied Computer Science and stood out among other graduating students, left his family members in celebration and joyful mood as they recounted all they’ve faced over Joshua’s condition before his graduation.

Joshua’s elder sister, Mrs. Mojola Sopeju-Mufutau, who took to the social media to share her excitement further revealed that his condition was due to poor medical handling.

READ ALSO: Overcoming Adversity: Single Mum Raises a Genius Son Despite his Cerebral Palsy

She wrote;

“For 30 years, you lived with cerebral palsy. Yet, you didn’t give up. Yours was a case of prolonged labour. As an infant, it took you almost a whole day to utter your first cry. I remember how we, your siblings, took turns to carry you on our backs to church and school.

Our backs ached as you grew older. But we carried you all the same. We took turns to bath you, clean you up and get you set for the day.

I remember why our youngest brother, Samuel, was made to write the Common Entrance Examination. Both of you moved on to secondary school.

I remember when reality set in and Samuel gained admission into the university. You were alone, afterwards; staying indoors for 14 years. But you were strong. Now see how you have made of us proud!”

READ ALSO: Watch Emotional Video of Abuja Based Boy Living With Cerebral Palsy Talk about His Future Ambition

Sopeju’s own narrative of his ordeal in school is breathtaking. Sopeju, in an interview with Punch attributed his success to God and good parenting.

As a physically challenged undergraduate, he noted, studying computer science was daunting. He added that he opted for computer science because he liked “to play games,” as a boy. Yet it was no easy engagement studying computers.

READ ALSO: ”I was advised to inject my son with a lethal substance to end the shame” –  Kogi First Lady, Amina Oyiza Bello Speaks on Cerebral Palsy

”I was born with cerebral palsy, which affected my psycho-motor faculty. But it did not affect my intelligence. I gained admission into the National Open University of Nigeria in 2010. I chose the course because I had a passion for computers.

As a young boy, I liked to play computer games. Also, because of my condition, my parents advised me to study something that I would be able to handle conveniently,” he said.



For a university degree of a four-year schedule, he bore the burden through gruelling eight years. He never gave up even though at one point he felt like “giving up.”

Every step of the way, he found himself facing challenges, the greatest of which was his inability to walk well.

 “The greatest challenge was movement. It prevented me from having access to my facilitators. I was not able to ask them questions about the things I didn’t understand.

As a result, I had to depend on my course outlines and on personal research. In addition to this, there was no time. At a point, I felt like giving up,” he said.

READ ALSO: Hearing Impaired Man and Lady Living With Cerebral Palsy Find Love

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He urged physically challenged youths to seek higher education, pursue a career and leave the future to God.

”Parents should not give up on such children because of their special needs. They should encourage and support them in every way possible.

My parents never gave up on me. If you add up all the money they spent on me to graduate from school, it is enough to finance the education of three or four children up to the university. That is what I call sacrifice,” he said.

Sopeju, who specialised in computer programming, hopes to establish a firm someday where he will impact knowledge and practical skills to others.

Also, he wants to become a motivational speaker and to encourage other physically challenged children to maximise their potential.

READ ALSO: Activities That Can Damage Your Baby’s Delicate Brain

What her sister, Mrs. Mufutau related is a window on not only the sufferings of the patients of such disability but of other such handicaps across the country.

Sopeju’s parents, Pastor Victor Sopeju, a former National Youth Coordinator of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, and his mother Grace Sopeju, deserve high commendations.

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth.

Signs and symptoms appear during infancy or preschool years. In general, cerebral palsy causes impaired movement associated with abnormal reflexes, floppiness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unsteady walking, or some combination of these.

People with cerebral palsy may have problems swallowing and commonly have eye muscle imbalance, in which the eyes don’t focus on the same object. People with cerebral palsy also may suffer reduced range of motion at various joints of their bodies due to muscle stiffness.

Cerebral palsy’s effect on functional abilities varies greatly. Some affected people can walk while others can’t. Some people show normal or near-normal intellectual capacity, but others may have intellectual disabilities. Epilepsy, blindness or deafness also may be present.

Photo credit: Facebook

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“Man Living With Cerebral Palsy, Joshua Sopeju, Beats The Odds to Become Computer Science Graduate”

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