Newman Awesome, a Nigerian gospel artiste was, for nine years, struck down with a strange illness that made him see death as an escape route.
Now, speaking with Sunday Scoop recently, Newman said the illness started as ‘ordinary’ body pain in 1999.
He said, “I noticed I was experiencing pains all over my body, especially my head, neck and the jaw parts of my body. Gradually, I began to develop little growths all over my jaw and neck. It was very painful, ugly and discomforting. When we went to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, the doctors had no explanation for the strange ailment. Later, they told me I was poisoned by a diabolic man.”
According to him, he was advised to consult native doctors or traditional healers but it was against his belief.
Newman as he looks today
He added, “Miraculously, after years, the malignant growths in my neck began to burst on their own. But the joy of this lasted for a while. The burst points became opened to the extent that when I drank water, it would pour out of my body. It was horrible.
“Also, when it seemed as if I was beginning to have some relief, my situation relapsed to another level of agony. My left leg shrank to almost a broom size, and practically became lifeless. I became emaciated. Certain people who were coming to see me were as good as coming to mock me and my family, saying since we claimed to be serving God, why couldn’t God heal me and deliver the family from the trouble the ailment brought. One of the major rumours was that I had HIV/AIDS. At this point, almost everybody, except my immediate family members, deserted me. My mother and siblings really suffered so much to care for me.
“My people would go out every day, not sure of meeting me alive at home when they get back. I was always locked up at home when everybody had gone out. At that point, I couldn’t eat anything; yet, I was stooling and vomiting uncontrollably. My people resorted to using diapers on me because of frequent and uncontrollable excretion. The things I was passing as faeces were indescribable. All hope seemed lost when I started vomiting blood constantly. People were surprised by the volume of blood that was coming out of an ordinary skeleton. There was no strength left in me but prayers sustained me. Now, I’m a living, healthy and bubbling young man.”
Recalling the first day he walked with his legs after being taken to the hospital, Newman said the place was thrown into celebration. He stated, “The hospital ward became a Mecca of sorts as people rushed to see the miracle. They didn’t believe I could walk again. I became healed in 2008, while my father died in 2009. If you had seen me in 2008, you could tell that I passed through a challenging time. But I have fully recovered now.”
During the illness, the fifth child of six children admitted that there were times he was unhappy whenever his family members were praying to God to show him mercy, as he thought it would be better if he was dead than going through those pains.
Speaking about his music, he said, “Before the illness, I was already a musician. It was when I was thinking of taking it seriously that I fell ill. Now, I go for shows; I do strictly Christian music. People have been disturbing me to release an album and I plan to do so soon. Newman has been my name all the while, but people thought I started bearing the name after surviving the sickness.”