Africa Human Rights
As a college student in Nigeria, Ekaete Judith Umoh refused university housing that segregated students with disabilities from the larger student body. Her conviction struck the housing director. He was impressed that a woman, let alone a disabled woman, dared to challenge university policy.
“Women with disabilities are just an afterthought,” Ekaete offers plainly, recounting the details of her early activism. Her accomplished presence is tempered by a warm, magnetic gaze.
Yet the housing director refused her request to move — he insisted that the disability floor needed Ekaete’s brand of boldness. She will tell you today that his refusal was definitive; it would guide her life’s work.
As a child, Ekaete was stricken with polio. Her parents embraced their daughter with suppor