How people reacts when I first spoke about my sickle cell disease - Adekunle Gold


Adekunle Gold

By Taiwo Okanlawon

Popular Afrobeats singer and songwriter, Adekunle Gold has recounted how he was trolled online when he first made his struggle with sickle cell disease public.

The ‘Orente’ crooner disclosed that he was “attacked and abused” on social media following his revelation.

Speaking in a recent interview with CNN, Adekunle Gold said he decided to create awareness about sickle cell disease after summoning the courage to speak up.

The singer said he is on a mission to make people living with sickle cell feel “safe.”

He said, “I want people living with sickle cell to feel safe, to feel like they have help and support.

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“They call you a sickler… Recently, when I talked about it [my struggle with sickle cell] on the song [‘5-star’], I saw a lot of tweets from people attacking and abusing me.

“I’m speaking about sickle cell disease now because I just got the courage to come out and speak up openly about it. A lot of people can’t share their stories like I can.”

Adekunle Gold said he has been aware of his diagnosis since he was a child, adding that growing up, he constantly put himself in situations that made him sick.

“I’ve known about my sickle cell disease all my life. I knew since I was a child that I couldn’t do certain things. They said, ‘You know you have sickle cell, you can’t play football in the rain just like your peers.’ And I was like, ‘No, I want to play.’ I’ve always been rebellious,” he recalled.

“I’ve known about my sickle cell disease all my life because growing up, I had crises every time. I was in the hospital back-to-back.

“As a child, I constantly put myself in situations that made me sick. And it affected me a lot. For example, I’m not supposed to be in the rain, so what happened to me was that I would have pains in my joints from being in the rain. But I always knew that I didn’t want this thing [sickle cell] to define me.”

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