Nigeria: I’m Not Defined By Physical Disability – Crippled Electrician


Lami Sadiq

Jos — Shehu Ibrahim Musa has been fixing electrical appliances since 1998 after he graduated from secondary school. Though a physically challenged resulting from poliomyelitis, Shehu is undeterred by his physical disability and social challenges. He works from his mud house in Mai Adiko area of Rayfield in Jos south and says fixing appliances is a gift he inherited from his father. “I fix all electronics such as TV, fans, radios and other electric appliances but I don’t fix phones,” he told Benue/Plateau Trust.

“After completing my education at Government College Zawan, in Jos South, I didn’t go further. I started to fix appliances because it was something my father did. He did not get any formal training on the skill, he was a taxi driver by profession but had the gift of fixing things,” he further stated.

Like his father, Shehu also has the gift and attracts customers from many parts of the city including Dilimi in Jos North. By watching his father, Shehu said, he started by fixing a small transistor radio. Though it was not something he took seriously at that time, he said the skill has now become his lifeline.

However, with the internet serving as the window to the world, Shehu told our correspondent that he was working towards modernising his skill by becoming technologically savvy.

“I do a lot of research online to find ways of fixing modern appliances. That was how I learnt to fix LCD television sets. When I need to buy a particular sparepart, I sometimes go online to find what I’m looking for and read about it while other times I work with other friends in the same line of business to find ways of solving a problem.”

The phone Shehu uses, however, is quite old and barely serves his purpose.

“Sometimes I have to borrow a phone from someone to browse the internet because mine barely has the capacity for the kind of research I do. It would have been much easier if I had a computer but for now, I rely mostly on borrowed phones.”

So far, none of Shehu’s seven children have shown interest in following in his footstep but he says it doesn’t bother him as they have all been enrolled in school. He has, however, trained about four apprentices who now operate independently and have advanced to fixing electrical problems on heavy duty machines such as caterpillars while another has moved to fixing phones.

The father of seven said the business has not been as lucrative as it once was and he fears that they may soon be out of business.