Yemisi Ilo says she has also been battling Multiple Sclerosis for nearly 10 years and that Zara’s situation shouldn’t have deteriorated to the point of death....
I also have MS and I am currently in Singapore – where by His grace I will finally halt the progression and hopefully and prayerfully reverse some if not all disability.

I spoke to Zara on Tuesday. She said she was being given ‘Agbo’ to drink by her family and that it was killing her. Those were her exact words. I told her to NOT drink it. With an already compromised immune system – Agbo is bullshit. It is poison. MS is not malaria. I gave Zara clear details of exactly what she needed to do to try to get well. It isn’t easy AT ALL – I should know but unfortunately for her, she was surrounded by very ignorant people at the end who felt that they knew best.

I first heard of Zara when I read about her on Linda Ikeji‘s blog a year ago. I got in touch with her immediately and started a Skype friendship. I was in London and she was in the States (US). We spoke regularly. When I went back to Lagos, we would WhatsApp and I would call her. When she came to Nigeria in October last year, I went to see her and she was surprised that she could move better than me! I organized the Battabox interview (which we did at my parents house). She said she didn’t want to live with her mum in the States – yet she had no one to look after her there apart from her mum. She needed someone. She even wanted to come and stay with me, but I am married with small children and my own MS issues were already enough for one house.... 

I am so pissed off, so angry, so fucking sad, teary and frustrated. If I had been in Nigeria, I would have gone to pick her up on Tuesday when I spoke to her. She was so desperate to leave Ogba. She said she had a return ticket to America and would try to leave ASAP. I gave her my neurologist’s number so she could get some steroids to help her get over the horrible relapse she was having. Also to get her to explain the condition to Zara’s family so they would realize that this was not an ‘Agbo’ matter. I have had MS for nearly 10 years. My walking has deteriorated and I am currently alternating between a walker and a wheelchair. Zara was worried that she wouldn’t get married and have kids – I told her that I had 4 kids and was happily married and continued to work and that there was hope. 

I have always been vocal about MS and even appeared on a ‘Moments with Mo’ episode talking about it. There are many Nigerians with MS – I know a few but they want to keep quiet. Their families are embarrassed. Why? I don’t know? It can happen to anyone at any time. Granted, I am extremely fortunate to have the strength of character and a loving and supportive and enlightened family to deal with this HORRIBLE condition that has led to this opportunity for me to undergo Hemapioetic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) – Google it. It has taken donations from over 100 people to do this. It costs over $150k (N24,727,501). I told Zara that since she was a US citizen, she could get on a trial at the University of Chicago under Dr. Burt for free. 

I just want people to know that MS didn’t kill Zara – ignorance did. As well as our fatalistic attitude in Nigeria where everyone prays and no one takes action.

Thanks Bless


  1. she is very right, nigerians are very ignorant, we are prayerful but we dont act on it.

    1. How about speaking for your self, NOT all Nigerians are like that, some believe thy are Jesus bestfriend others believe prayer with action is the key but for you to generalize this is ignorance on its own.

  2. That last excerpt is very very true!!

  3. *sigh* this is so sad..just reading this.

  4. praying and not taking action! she is right about that for sure.. that's the solution for almost everything for some nigerians zara

  5. Thanks for your strength of character and giving a voice to the ills that plague our dear country. I see it first hand in my clinic hear since I moved back to Nigeria from the UK. Our Ignorance level beggars belief. Its simply amazing and actually bothering on stupidity, the amount of things people take Agbo for. Information is all around us these days especially with the vast number of smart phones you see paraded around. You would think people would learn to use it to connect and educate themselves rather than simply use it as a tool to show off. I wish you the very best with your procedure Yemisi.

  6. I feel so sad by the news of her demise, I admire your courage sisi Yemmie, all your effort on your health won't be in vain.

  7. Congrats again sisi I was so rooting for you n thankfully the voting wasn't in vain. N d's MS thing is so hard. Hmmm. We pray for good health o.


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