It’s weird that the world still gets amazed when they come across a person who might be either physically disable or living with some mental disability. It is weird because at this stage the world is in, we do not appreciate them. Human beings should know by now that we all are blessed with innate creativity; no matter your physical condition. Besides this, the world has witnessed a whole lot of outstanding achievements by this category of special people.

It is no longer news that every day since forever, these people are rising above their challenges and making ends meet with their creativity.

Disability in art is amazing and refined. It exists in visual arts, fine arts, performing arts etc. It is eye opening every day. It is important that children living with any form of such disability are not criticised or discriminated against. Rather they should be taught that they can do anything the average man without disability can do and even better. Though this takes a little courage, here are a few legendary proofs:

1. For Chandivali based painter, it was first seen as a hobby. But since then, it has grown remarkably into a profession. His name is Bandenawaz Nadaf and he paints with his feet due to the fact that he was born with a defect in both his upper limbs. He has since turned it into a means of livelihood for himself. In April 2015, he painted with his feet for a live audience in Goregoan, India. He attributes a lot of his success to his teacher who realized his talent when he was just 14 and saw him through. He particularly does nature and portrait paintings.

Bandenawaz Nadaf

2. Born with autism in 1974, Stephen Wiltshire has never seen his autism as a barrier or boundary. He began drawing detailed sketches at 10, a year after he began to talk. He developed this art and has since become a world famous architectural artist.


3. For Lisa Fittipaidi, it was not until she lost her sight that she learned to paint and wrote a book. Amazing what creativity people will churn out in the face of difficulty. Her art works involve a lot of colour detail – with regard to this; she says she can tell a colour just by feeling the texture of the paint.


4. After a car accident left him without arms or legs in 1976 at the age of 16, Michael Monaco learned how to draw and paint with his pencil and paint brush in his mouth


5. Though Sawpna Augustine was born with no arms, she has taken to exhibiting her innate creativity by painting and drawing with her feet. She received ample support from her parent in her painting career.



6. The late author, poet and painter, Christy Brown was born with cerebral palsy. His left leg is the only part of his body that responds to his will. He was able to write and paint with the toes of his foot. Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder. During his life time, he was very keen on arts and literature and used to write and draw himself. His book: ‘My Left Leg’ was a literary sensation. It was even adapted into a film.


7. If you didn’t know, you read it here. One of the most amazing composers of all time, Beethoven was deaf during the last decade of his life. Despite his disability, he continued to compose beautiful music throughout this time. His hearing began deteriorating when he was a youth. He was a crucial figure in the transition between classical and romantic eras in western art music.


8. Nigeria’s very own Cobhams Asuquo was born in 1981. He was born blind but like Stevie Wonder he has produced amazing music. He is an amazing producer, songwriter and vocalist. He is one of Nigeria’s finest artistes. When he plays the keyboard, it is almost a divine experience.


9. Despite Sudha Chandran’s disability which resulted after an accident left her with one leg, she is one of the most acclaimed and influential dancers in India.

sudha chandran

The list is virtually endless. According to Petra Klippers, “disability culture is the difference between being alone, isolated and individualated with physical, cognitive, emotional or sensory differences that in our society invites discrimination and reinforces that isolation – the difference between all that and being in a community, naming oneself part of a larger group, a social movement or a subject position in modernity can help to focus energy and to understand that solidarity can be found precariously in improvisation always on the verge of collapse”

This is spot on.

Author: Ope Adedeji