To mark the 2017 World Autism Day, Femi Otedola’s daughter writes about her autistic brother
Billionaire Femi Otedola’s third child, Temi Otedola, has shared a moving story about her only brother, Fewa, who is autistic. According to Temi who wrote the article on her blog JTO Fashion, she and her siblings found out about their brother’s condition in 2004.
“My mum called my sisters and me into her bedroom. With the composure only a mother can have, she told us that our baby brother, Fewa, had ‘special needs’. While my sisters asked questions, all I could do was think about what this would mean for me, the already overindulged, youngest of three girls,” she said.
She said that ‘selfishness’ wore off quickly after understanding why Fewa needed constant attention. Taking care of her little brother ‘entails a great deal of work’, she revealed, adding that often, she would see her mum, Nana, helping her brother with the simplest, yet ‘exhausting’ activities like brushing his teeth, feeding and getting him dressed.
She goes on to say that her brother has grown more independent; he doesn’t need sympathy and is the “most genuine and caring person.” “This is probably why I have never seen Fewa’s autism as necessarily and totally negative, it is a unique characteristic that adds to the complexity of the person that he is,” she added.
Still, Temi worries about her future, hence why she builds it around her only brother because Fewa still needs 24 hour help. “No matter what I do, I need to build my life with Fewa in mind. My parents won’t be around forever, and his care and well-being will become the responsibility of me and my sisters,” Temi says.
“It is true that consideration for Fewa will always affect the decisions I make in my life. Despite this, Fewa is by no means a burden. These worries do not reduce the immense love I have for my brother who has brought so much joy and shown me the purest form of love.
To quote The Bard, ‘Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.’ It is Fewa’s unconditional love that has shaped me into the woman I am today – a sister, a teacher, a carer and a best friend,” she concluded.