Vandi Immurrana, Interviewed by Maya Sikand and Valentin Jeutner (UWC AC)
Vandi Immurrana belongs to the Milton Margai School for the Blind Tour Choir who performed on the 10th/11th August in St. Donat’s Arts Centre of Atlantic College.
‘I came to the Milton Margai School for the Blind in 1994 during the turbulent time of civil war in Sierra Leone. Emphasis at the school is placed on the desire to learn and to be exposed. The students want to start being integrated with people with sight as early as possible.Our school choir is a means of advertising the school and its vision. We want to sensitise the international public to blind people through our music. Our school choir in Sierra Leone is well known and considered and state institution, performing at many official functions. The Freedom Tour is about the African people who two hundred years ago were used as tools. We want people to be proud to be able to stand on their own. With the abolition of slavery the people of Africa were redeemed, the anniversary of which we are celebrating with this tour. I have been blind from the age of two. In life, I can differentiate between lighter darkness and the thickest, darkest blackness. The first thing I want to know when I enter a new place is what is around me. I do this by touching. Then my imagination and questions take over. Being blind, you want to see things you have known, how they really are. How is blue? Yellow? What is the difference between blue and yellow? I know the texture of a person, but how do they look? Will I ever see their face? Blind people have to think faster, and so their imagination is very focused. Disability is not inability, but we have to more sensitive and perceptive.Atlantic College seems to us to be a very special place. Such an old and historic building, and your patron, Nelson Mandela, is a very honoured person for us in Africa, and he stands for the message we are trying to spread.To destroy is very easy, but to rebuild is difficult. I have seen that with the conflict that Sierra Leone witnessed. Not just in rebuilding the country, but in rebuilding peoples’ lives. The Milton Margai School and many victims who had been blinded during the war, and rebuilding their lives is not an easy task. We want to create an awareness of disability issues – how do the blind feel? I would like to become a journalist as is journalism you can find a place where you can bring about awareness in the minds of the people. With journalism I would be empowered to say these things.’
– United World College Student Magazine –