WOTM Featuring Fatmatta Wurie
“I want to change the face of Information Technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired community. And once I do that, it is nothing to change the views and ideas of society.” ~Fatmatta Wurie
Maono Ya Chini
Maono Ya Chini is a blog created by Fatmatta Wurie, a young woman, who was one of the first bloggers I interacted with when I began blogging. Sharing a mutual understanding of sight loss, brought Fatmatta and me together. A college student majoring in Information Technology (IT), when she received her diagnosis she was embarking on young adulthood.
When I first saw the words Maono Ya Chini, which means low vision in Swahili, I really liked their exotic sound. At the same time, I admired Fatmatta’s personal story and her approach to handling sight loss. “Seeing life through different eyes,” the tagline of Maono Ya Chini, seems to be the path Fatmatta has chosen to pursue her dreams.
Like many others who lose sight, Fatmatta went from grief to acceptance and finally the desire to help others. Her diagnosis of hereditary macular dystrophy caused her to make significant adjustments in her life.
Diseases of the eye affecting the macula, impact central vision which interferes with a person’s ability to perform daily activities. Activities like identifying faces, grocery shopping, reading newspapers, menus, ATMs, currency, and watching TV, are just a few. Safety concerns like falling risks, disorientation, medication-related errors, crossing the street, cooking, and bathing are real issues. Issues seldom considered until one has to face the prospect of living with vision loss. Add to it coping with the emotional impact of losing sight and independence it is a truly life-altering experience.
After researching her diagnosis and following up with a retina specialist Fatmatta found that she had Stargardt disease. Imagine receiving this type of news as a 19-years-old, at the beginning of your professional career.
“Being an Information Technology student, I am immediately drawn to being innovative, inventive, imaginative and creative.” ~Fatmatta Wurie
It’s impressive that is it’s only been three years since her diagnosis and Fatmatta yet is an advocate. She’s volunteering and connected with other people experiencing vision loss to build a community of like-minded go-getters.
On her blog, Fatmatta shares lots of low vision and disability awareness resource information. She also documents personal thoughts from her journaling and re-blogs articles of interest. Due to the demanding nature of being a full-time college student and blogging she manages her time well.
Fatmatta you are an inspiration and I am hopeful that you will indeed change the world!! Your youthful zeal and enthusiasm are contagious. Keep up the good work my friend.