In a world defined by outwardness, individuals who are affected by certain skin conditions tend to feel victimized, therefore losing their sense of self but Temilola Omoobajesu undaunted by her skin condition decided to look beyond the stigmatization and self pity and love herself for her uniqueness.
Applaudably, she has risen to become a confident individual capable of affecting lives.
Inspirational Vitiligo model Temilola Omoobajesu speaks about living with Vitiligo in this interview:
The first signs of vitiligo must have frightened you. Can you share the experience?
I wouldn’t say I was frightened at the first sight on my first patch, because I didnt know it was a permanent skin issue, I thought it was something that will give away after sometime when treated. I told my dad, who took me to the hospital.
How old were you?
I was 13 years old when I noticed the first patch on my skin before it started to spread over time.
How did family and friends react to it?
I would say I am blessed with the family I have, they have been very supportive and encouraging ever since.
Did you face discrimination? What incident comes to mind?
I did face alot of discrimination, which got me depressed. I recall my school days when all my outfits had to be long to be able to cover my patches on my legs, to avoid the names calling from course mates and everyone who set eyes on me.
One of the major incidence that I will not forget, was when my course mates kept whispering to each others ears that I am a cursed child that is why I have what I have, and they called me all sorts of names one that was really annoying yet funny was “keep uniben clean” because my clothes were overflowing to cover me properly.
When did you decide to embrace who you are?
That was in 2014, I came to full acceptance that I had to embrace who I am and be confident because I couldn’t change it.
As a model, how do you wish to be perceived?
I hope that we will be able to raise enough awareness for vitiligo to help the stigmatisation that comes with it, and I wish for everyone to see that we are all same, my skin doesn’t define me, I am human just as you are and you should see me as such.
What is your greatest wish?
I wish for everyone to please support our awareness cause for vitiligo. We have come up with a vitiligo foundation called VITIDENCE to help others out there to overcome their fears and eliminate stigmatisation against people living with vitiligo.
Confidence is key!