People Have A Lot To Say About The Lumps

July 9, 2021

As told to Mariam

I have always had these lumps on my body. My people say I was born with them, but they started as little brown spots before they became lumps. I saw them but I didn’t know what they were. I think I was six or seven when I was taken to the hospital to get a biopsy. Some of the lumps were removed for tests and it was an extremely painful experience. When the results came out, the doctors told my parents that I have Neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder of the nervous system where tumours grow on your nerve tissues. 

There’s no specific treatment for Neurofibromatosis, just drugs to manage whatever complications that arise. That didn’t stop my mother from obsessing over getting rid of the lumps, though. I have three brothers and none of them has these lumps. Neither do my parents. People always have a lot to say about the lumps, offering one solution or the other. I remember the time someone told my mother that bathing me in her urine every night would remove the lumps. She actually did it for about three weeks until my father told her to stop. 

As I grow older, the lumps get bigger and multiply. As a result, I have many other medical complications to deal with. The lumps can grow anywhere on my body — in my ear, on my eyeballs, even in my brain. One time, I was on medication for seizures but stopped taking them when the seizures stopped. Right now, my doctor says there may be a lump growing in some part of my brain that is affecting my ears and eyes. My eyesight is terrible and I get earaches all the time, which feel like a ringing in my ears. It could get worse but my doctor says to relax. Sometimes I feel like I’m living on borrowed time because at any minute, shit could hit the fan and I’d be stuck in the hospital.

At school, I am doing okay. It is said that people with neurofibromatosis develop certain learning disabilities — they are slower than most people when it comes to learning new things. It’s either that or I no too get sense like that. LOL. My mental health is in shambles, of course. Isn’t it obvious? I’m covered in spots.

Otherwise, I live a basic life. I wake up, eat, go to work, come home, and sleep. I try to be independent so I don’t feel like so much of a burden to my parents — it can’t be easy having a daughter that everybody stares at. It’s why I’m scared of being in a relationship. I deal with people asking me stupid questions all the time. Some people stare. Some mutter “sorry” as they pass me. What if people start asking my partner questions about my condition? How would they feel about it? Sometimes, it’s hard for me to look in the mirror. I tell myself, “Omo, na small thing. No be only spots?” 

I had a boyfriend when I was 18. He was a popular and many girls liked him. I was always self-conscious and thinking, “How do I fit into this person’s world looking like this?” He acted like it didn’t bother him but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I eventually ended things with him.. I haven’t been with anyone else since then. It’s crazy that my parents are talking about marriage these days. They haven’t said it directly but it’s a prayer point for them. One time, one of my relatives said, “Don’t worry, you’ll find a good husband who won’t mind.” I didn’t want to think too much about what that would take because who would want to marry a girl covered in spots? Would anyone look at me twice? They would probably be worried about what our children would look like. 

I am trying to focus on self-love in the meantime. My favourite part of my body is my legs. They’re not long or anything (I’m not 6ft), but I love them because they are the only parts of my body that don’t have too many spots. I am also focusing on school and my business. I am in my final year now and can’t wait to graduate. 

Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

December 14, 2020

A lot of Nigerian men have tried to push the agenda that Nigerian women are rich. So, Zikoko decided to investigate and we have come through with a list on how to spot a rich Nigerian woman. So, if you’re in the market for a rich woman, this one is for you.

November 9, 2020

Being a woman is already hard enough. We have to deal with harassment, unrealistic societal expectations, fear of getting raped and murdered for rejecting romantic advance, and the list goes on. Now, reports are, women are getting denied entry to certain spaces without a male chaperon because they are perceived as prostitutes.


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

September 1, 2021

August is over, and here are some of our best quizzes from August. Enjoy: 1. QUIZ: Only Ajebutters Can Get 10/21 On This Quiz Some people like to form ajepako when they’re really ajebutter. Are you one of them? Let’s find out. 2. QUIZ: Sorry, If You’re Under 25 There’s No Way You Can Pass […]

October 29, 2019

We are going to be attempting to guess when you’ll marry based on your favourite Nigerian foods. What does your fave swallow have to do with when you’ll tie the knot? Please, don’t ask complicated questions. This quiz is rigorous and accurate (don’t quote us), so just take it already. QUIZ: Why Do You Have […]

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

December 5, 2019

We already tried to guess how much you have in your account and your current net worth, and we think we did a pretty great job (keep any complaints to yourself). Now, we’re going to try and guess your monthly salary based on your relationship with money. Oya, take the quiz: 11 Timed Quizzes For […]

December 29, 2021

A new year is right around the corner. Before we go into 2022, enjoy some of our top quizzes from this year. 1. QUIZ: Only Nigerian Gen Z’ers Can Make It To The End Of This Musicians Quiz Forget about your age. If you can make it to the end of this quiz, you’re definitely […]

More from Her

January 26, 2022

Black don’t crack, black don’t crack but they won’t tell you all the things they do a maintain that gorgeousness. Because we are so generous so we compiled a list of health care tips for 30+ women.

January 22, 2022

African music has always had its place at the top of the global music industry. These days, with tech switching up the scene and genres blending, everyone keep bringing their A game especially these six female African artistes. 

Read here:


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.