My First Concern Experience Post Injury, Part II

Jackie smiling into the camera

I believe all that happened on that night was nothing short of eye-opening. The reason I decided to write this, is to share my experience and speak my voice on accessibility and inclusivity of disabled people in this country. There are so many times that I have gone to a place but only to stay in the car because one can only access the building by going up a fleet of stairs. In this instance accessibility was next to none, and I had to be lifted by two lovely gentlemen into the venue, but since we were at the general access arena, proximity was the challenge as everyone was standing, and I was seated. Did I mention earlier that a few weeks before the day of the show, I emailed the promoters and sent a WhatsApp message inquiring about accessibility? Their response was accessibility was an uncertainty and there were no disability passes. They did not even bother to make any effort to accommodate or assist in any way, as if they were implying I should come at my own risk.

I am also human. I need a fair chance just like everyone else. If only event organizers could provide accessible seating and disabled access tickets to help us see and enjoy our favorite artists. After paying like everyone else, I still barely saw a thing let alone my favorite artist. I wish to highlight the fact that live shows are veiled in a layer of inequality and discrimination. Honestly, this is everywhere but when it comes to me being denied what symbolizes enjoyment and freedom to me, it feels degrading. It feels like a rigged game.

I am thankful that I got the opportunity to experience a night out, otherwise I would not have learnt of this social disparity. I would love to challenge music promoters and event organizers to consider us. I hope for a world of kindness and equality. I am sure I am not the first to air this out but I hope I have played my part in highlighting some issues that affect impaired people.

As I had hoped for I bumped into a couple of friends and it was so good catching up. I am truly grateful to my sister Mufaro who made the night bearable and did her best to fight for me, and the two women who voiced out on my behalf.

I would love to mention that it was an extremely cold night. Despite wearing layers of clothing and covering myself with a blanket, it was still freezing. I tried to find coffee to no avail and at some point, I started worrying if I had put myself at risk of catching pneumonia. I just could not wait to get back into the car and head home. One thing I am glad I learnt is the more I go out the more I realize I do not need to struggle when I am around people. I am so sure of myself and more confident, although most times I feel like I am trying to cover up my insecurities.  Whichever the case is I am so proud of myself. When I returned home, I was overwhelmed with emotions and told myself I was never going out again, but later on, I decided to keep trying. When summer comes, I intend to go out more, because I really love and enjoy it. For the time being I will try to stay home keeping safe, warm, and healthy.