THE LOTTERY OF BIRTH (The science of prediction)


Original story by Opeyemi Emoruwa

Written by Ayokunle Olagoke

Gboyega (35) is sitting on the brown cushion chair, rubs his palm nervously continuously on the handle of the chair, he has a white envelope in his other hand. Titilade (33) walks in on phone.


It’s in one week and the beads are not ready? Listen, by now, I…

Another call comes in, she checks the caller 

Let me answer this call… hello sir, yes sir, we have the tests results now sir, yes sir… we will bring them this evening sir… amen sir…

She bends down to hug Gboyega. He manages to smile

Are you okay? Why did you insist on coming to tell me face to face?

He hands over the white envelope to her. She opens it hurriedly and glances through.

Hmmm! We need to decide on how to inform pastor… I know he might want to… to… but we will tell him we have faith

Gboyega is looking down, he shakes his head in disagreement

Hmmm… well… I’m not sure I…

He sighs deeply. Titilade looks confused
(stammering), I’ve… em… I’ve seen my neighbor lose two out of three kids to sickle cell…
But that is not our portion Gboye, that is why we are Christians, we will believe God for a miracle

Gboyega appears restless, shakes his head
I take responsibility for my fault… I should have done this test way back
Look, that does not matter now, wedding is in a week, we have spent money, told people… I’m thirty-three. The only way for us on this issue is forward. Gboye talk to me!
Gboyega’s eyes are misty. He slides two palms down his face
Ah… God, the doctor I met said he will like to meet with both of us
What for? To advise us not to proceed? Look, Gboye you are even pissing me off the way you are handling this
She gets up angrily, walks into her room and slams the door.

Dr. Fred (56) sits opposite the couples.
I won’t take much of your time. I know how hard this moment is

Titilade shakes her head in disagreement and cuts in
I believe in miracles, as for me, I serve a living God who can do anything… I am resolute
That’s okay… I will like us to do a simple exercise okay? Have you decided on how many kids you will like to have?
Three, 2 boys, 1 girl

He brings out a white sheet of paper, writes on it “AS AS” crosses them to produce: AA, AS, AS, SS.

copyright Bansal and Warhdha

Now take a look, what this means is, for each pregnancy you have, there is 25% chance of the child being an AA, 50% chance of that same child being an AS and 25% chance of that same child being an SS. So the child can be any of these. Do you understand?

They both nod their heads

So, I will wrap these four likelihoods into individual papers.

He writes AA in a paper, he writes AS in another paper, AS again in another paper and SS in another paper. He wraps and shuffles them.
Now let us assume you are about to have your first child, these paper represent the likely genotypes, pick one.

Gboyeba reaches out, picks one, opens it and finds AS written on it.
Okay. So let’s say that is the first child. Now you are about to have your second child, pick again
I think she should pick, she is more saint than I am

Titilade stretches her hand, picks, it’s an SS paper. She sighs as she sees it
Okay. So that is the second child.

Dr. Fred wraps them all again, shuffles and stretches towards Titilade. She pauses for some seconds, stares deeply at the papers. She reaches out and picks; opens it and its SS. She sighs deeply
                                                                                                                                                                  2 MONTHS LATER
Titilade is pooing, her phone beeps.

We usually don’t accept them back but you have a genuine reason.


Around four million Nigerians are estimated to suffer from sickle cell disease, while 25 million others carry the genes which they pass to their offspring.

From available statistics, 100,000 infants die from sickle-cell disease in Nigeria annually

Based on World Health Organization [WHO] indices, Nigeria accounts for 75 percent of infant sickle-cell cases in Africa and almost 80 percent of infant deaths from the disease in the continent

Recommendation: Do you know someone with sickle cell? Check out Crimson Brown, her stories will inspire YOU

Together we can take this to a larger audience- television, radio, let’s spread the News. contact us today.


16 Comments on “THE LOTTERY OF BIRTH (The science of prediction)”

  1. […] we at Health Disseminate get to translate the script The Lottery of Birth on Script It into a stage drama. Kindly […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oladapo says:

    Hmm… If at all such a relationship will end up in marriage, then like u said, they should trust God to heal them even before marriage.. The outcome of such a union will be regretable… Prevention is better than Cure..

    U love a lady.. U seeing “future” tinz.. Pls verify your genotype again! Dont be like me.. I had always believed i was AA not until i was instructed to do it again.. Discovered i had been AS all along…


  3. Aderonke says:

    Uhm! I have a family close by that has suffered terribly from this situation! At the end they lost 2 of 5 children to sickle cell at adulthood and later lost the 3rd one to some birth complications, later the mother to kidney failure!

    Thinking about it, I think the stress, finance and focus of nursing 2 sickle cell children affected the health of the mother and the pregnant sibling or perhaps some other medical situations were also overlooked in the history of the family! Only God knows..
    The whole family scattered and it took God’s grace to bring the surviving siblings and father together to continue their life!

    Truth is once beaten, twice shy especially where life and death is concerned! I applaud the couple for not going ahead with the wedding and still blame them for the heartaches, they should have done the test earlier. At this tech age people should take necessary medical precautions or at least tests to be aware of situation and chances before we begin to apply faith to what we could simply avoid, treat or make better by God given knowledge. Yes God will always do the impossible for us but trust me he will do better than you even believe him for having seen your effort and when you seek him to know what to do about it and you do it!



  4. Ifeoluwa says:

    This is a beautiful piece…thank you very much. I believe prevention is better than cure, the heart ache sickle cell causes it’s victims, the parents of the sick child and even the society is such that should be avoided. In times past, people suffered for lack of knowledge but here we are with so much information, everything we need to know. So I believe in making right choices, indeed we can apply our faith on other things rather than praying for a sick child to be healed or something which could have been avoided.


    • Ayokunle Olagoke says:

      I can imagine a parent tell a Sickle cell child that, I knew you may be sickle before I gave birth to you but thought I will use faith. How will such a child feel?


  5. Akinyosoye folakemi says:

    I agree with you Ayokunle. Some decisions are really hard to make… bt its beta to make such decisions than be sorry or have any form of regret later in life.The physical and psycological trauma d parents and even d sick child face is really not worth it if such situations can actually be avoided. #veryeducativepiece


  6. Akinyosoye folakemi says:

    I agree with you Ayokunle. Some decisions are really hard to make… bt its beta to make such decisions than to be sorry or have any form of regret later in life.The physical and psycological trauma d parents and even d sick child face is really not worth it if such situations can actually be avoided. #veryeducativepiece


  7. Akinyosoye folakemi says:

    I agree with you Ayokunle. Some decisions are really hard to make… bt its beta to make such decisions than to be sorry or have any form of regrette later in life.The physical and psycological trauma d parents and even d sick child face is really not worth it if such situations can actually be avoided. #veryeducativepiece


  8. oluwatomi says:

    sensitive topic,well scripted… developed countries hv facilities where they can determine the genotype while the baby is still in the womb and give the couple the choice of aborting early if its an undesirable genotype…but then I wonder,is that a better alternative?


  9. Bolaji Oladipo says:

    So they called off the relationship just like that! A 33 year old lady and a 35 year old man! Wait first, I think this is 21st century and the technology should have advanced to accommodate the proper management of sickle cellers’ health; when it is not cancer or HIV. Even, who says their envisaged 3 kids must all be sicklers, we live our lives daily on probabilities. What if the man is an ordained minister of God heading a church, how does he strengthen his teaching of faith with his congregation?
    A lot of questions here. I am not saying they shouldn’t have cancelled the relationship, but I think they needed to have allowed more thoughts on the matter even if they were going to split at the end.


    • Ayokunle Olagoke says:

      Thanks for your insightful contribution. Of course there’s a way out- the one marrow trasplant but the lack of expertise and the cost of operation makes preventive measure the BEST option. Moreover why ask for a fireproof when we can avoid the fire?
      As regards faith, I do recommend that rater than get married and get faith to prevent the birth of an SS child why not use the faith to change the parents’ genotype before the marriage?


  10. Bukky Shaba says:

    This is a very important topic/message that needs to be retold constantly. Thank you for sharing and i really like how you used the doctor in the story. God heals and delivers but there are avoidable situations if we would ask the tough questions and make the hard and difficult choices.


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