Charles was given a camera to take pictures of his life – the people and places, and the important things he encounters. Here is his explanation of the pictures that he took.
This [is a picture] of my family. I want people to know that as physically challenged we have the desire to manage our families very well. [It is] very encouraging to have a good family, no matter the situation you find yourself in. So I’m privileged to have a wife, to have four children. And [also in the picture] is as friend, a blind friend.
As the head of this department I want to show [with a picture of my office] that I have a small place where I run the administrative aspects of the school. […But] there’s a place for more improvements, to improve the office, it’s not up to standards how I wish it to be. […] It’s not easy, so we are doing our best. We don’t have enough funds. Because it’s a public school we don’t […] collect school fees [but rely on government funding…]. Here in Tafo we have a lot of [private schools]. And many families prefer sending their wards to those private schools because of their facilities or their structure […].
[I took this picture] because some children, they don’t want to come closer to physically challenged [people…]. Maybe they are afraid of us. So I want to show that still children can come closer to us. I wish you were there during the break time; you see almost as many of them here and they want to come closer to me. I play with them. I want to know about their family, their problems.
I want people to know that work with various [people with this picture], whether female or a male, whether young or old. And I am fortunate to have very obedient workers or colleagues. They respect me a lot, respect my challenges. They still recognize me as the [authority…].
This [picture] shows that we are not only concentrating on the academic work, the handiwork is also part of our syllabus. So the teacher was assisting them to mold some objects with clay. […And] I know much about art. I know basket weaving, door mats, I was a barber, I was a shoemaker.
[I took these pictures outside during break because] I love sports. I love seeing children playing. So when they are outside playing, I stand closer to them to see how they are playing. So they are not getting injured. To direct them: ‘kick the ball this way’, ‘you have to run.’ So I become, can I say, a coach.
This is [a picture of] the primary section [building]. The environment I used to work in […]. I was first there. I was the head there. Then I came back here to work.
This is a national service personnel in the primary section. So we have them to assist us when they come out. So they’re from the training colleges. Now our policy says that if you come out from the training college you will serve, you will become a national service personnel before you are given another posting. So they go back for reposting, to become fully fledged teachers. I want to show this young man that they are also here to work with us. I taught him before! He was my pupil.
[This is a picture of me] in the classroom [where] I taught for twelve years […]. But I had a problem on my lower limbs, so I had to come back to the office to work as the head[…]. When I came out of the classroom I didn’t like it. Because I had a lot of ideas to share with the children. So when I came out of the classroom, all these things had to be suspended. But it’s ok now. I share ideas with the teachers.
This [picture] is a group of some of the teachers at the primary. They were waiting for the children to come, so they were relaxing under the trees[…]. So this picture tells the type of people I work with. I used to say that I’m fortunate to have such people working with me. They understand me and understand my situation, whether physically challenged or not, and they always adhere to my advice. They listen to me. So I enjoy working with them[…].
[I would also like to add pictures of] these stairs[…]. These stairs are a problem. I used to work a physically challenged [man]; you’d see him climbing up stairs pulling the wheelchair. Pulling a wheelchair up the stairs with no one helping. […And] you see when I’m going into this hall, I find it very difficult: the floors; the slippery surface of the stairs.