As a young burn survivor, Magdalene Edet Ekanem wasn’t bothered about the scars on her stomach. But as she grew, she became conscious of these scars as it was hard undressing or dressing up before her female friends.
She was ashamed of her body until one day, she saw the picture of another survivor, whose scars are more and deeper than hers and it changed how she saw herself.
In a chat with Woman.NG, Magdalene shared her journey to owning her scars and appreciating her body.
My name is Magdalene Edet Ekanem, I am a burn survivor and the Founder of Magdalene Burn and Scars Survivors Foundation (MBSSF).
At age 12 the devil tried all his best to take away my life but God’s power superseded his. On that fateful day, it was at midday. I woke up to ease myself outside and didn’t go back inside immediately. With sleepy eyes, I went to sit down on a kitchen stool which was placed close to a full pot of hot cooking oil.
I didn’t know the stool wasn’t well balanced on the ground, I also didn’t know the cooking oil was hot until a neighbour noticed the stool I was sitting on wasn’t well balanced and yelled at me to get up from the stool.
The next thing I heard was people screaming and pouring water on me. The next place i found myself was at the hospital. The doctor told my grand mother that I wouldn’t survive it because the burn affected my navel and that my chances of survival was very tiny.
I was lying helpless looking at my grandmother weeping and begging the doctor to do something about my situation. As a child I didn’t know the gravity of what happened to me until my late teens when I started having inferiority complex. I couldn’t dress up or even have my bath in front of my fellow girls. I was always hiding my body.
I started conquering my fears and inferiority complex in 2016 when a fellow burn survivor’s photoshoot went viral @chillonmill. Her scars are more than mine yet she is always bold to flaunt them. She embraces her scars, so, she became my motivation.
When i conquered my fears, I thought of it that there are many burn survivors out there that are struggling with emotional trauma and inferiority complex, so I came up with MBSSF, a foundation that is here to stand as a voice for survivors and to render support within our capacity and with the help of the entire public.