•Reveals The Drugs He Took
Wale Oluwaleimu is a big brand in the Entertainment & Showbiz industry. He has paid his dues. He has been around for over 3 decades, promoting artistes and hosting Grade A shows.
A few weeks back, news broke that Wale was down with Covid-19. A few days back he was our Guest on City People TV Instagram Chat during which he spoke about how he nearly died due to his inability to get prompt medical attention from the government isolation centres. He explained how he had to treat himself.
So, what was your Covid-19 experience like, what really happened?
Around the 24th of June, 2020, I had what I thought was malaria. I do not regularly fall ill so I didn’t think much of it. I went to a neighbourhood Pharmacy where I got Coatem and Ibuprofen. I was on that, and after three days, I thought it should be over, but that wasn’t to be, as I still felt feverish and now very weak in the body. On the third day, though I felt better. I’d finished the drugs then, so I felt the malaria was abating. That fell into a Saturday. On Saturday, again I felt feverish. I felt maybe the residue of the malaria was still hanging in me and all that, so I just let it fly.
On Sunday, June 28, I was about to go to my lounge in the evening to see what was happening there so I took a bath and used my perfume and I noticed I couldn’t smell my perfume and body spray. At that point, I knew something was seriously wrong. I’m a perfume lover, I use very strong perfume. I put my nose to my cloth where I’d put the perfume and still couldn’t smell it naturally. I knew there was something wrong somewhere.
Fever, cough, loss of smell, loss of taste, body pains and weakness of the body all came together that evening.
I’m a firm believer in Google. First thing I did was to quickly do a Google search on all the symptoms I could feel and the only thing that came out consistently was Covid -19. I was like, wow. If that is it, then maybe I should try and taste something. I went into the kitchen and made myself a cup of Tweeny tea. Tweeny is a very tasty tea. I took the tea and I couldn’t feel the taste on my tongue. My taste bud was gone. I put honey in it again, maybe it would help me bring out the taste, but still, I couldn’t taste anything. At that point, I knew there was something wrong. As I was home alone, it was easy for me to isolate myself first as I didn’t want to infect anybody else. The next morning, I needed to confirm my suspicion, so I visited my private hospital. I tried my best to keep away from people and was fully geared up in face and nose masks.
The doctor attended to me. I told him I’d had malaria for the past few days, treated it but it seems like it’s coming back, but this time in another way. I told him having headaches now, I can’t taste either can I smell anything. My doctor prescribed some drugs for me, including Vitamin C, but deep inside my heart, I knew this must be Covid. I asked where I could get tested and he said, Yaba,. I said where in Yaba, he said he doesn’t know the place. So, I checked Google and it said I could get one at Ikeja local government. It was the nearest Covid-19 Test Center to my location. I drove straight to Ikeja local government. I met with a gentleman called Sheriff who took all my details.
He took it upon himself to put me through what I can do, and started making calls to the Ikeja COVID Unit; he said to me that they would contact me within the next 24 hours and that was like before 12 in the afternoon. So, the next day, I waited till 3 o’clock and there was no call from anybody and at that time, the headache had become severe. I already had severe body pains. This was Tuesday already. So I called the gentleman and said I haven’t heard from your people, can you please help me, I don’t mind going to meet them anywhere they are. I need to know what is wrong with me. He said he would get back to me in 30 minutes. When he got back to me, he said one person in that unit contracted the virus and they have isolated everyone in that unit. I said so what am I supposed to do now? He said tomorrow morning which was Wednesday, Ist of July, that I should go to Akowonjo primary school, that there’s a test unit there. As early as 8.30, I was in Akowonjo waiting for the test unit. They didn’t get there till around 11 o’clock. There were many people waiting to see them, but I was the first to get there and wait. Eventually, when they arrived, they were just so nonchalant about the job, no sense of urgency at all.
Finally, the test was done and the lady said we could go. I asked to know when I would get the results and she said it would be e-mailed to me within 72 hours and a week. I was shocked. 72 hours and a week? Madam, people are in pains here. Many would’ve died even before the result comes. There was no advice from her as to what to do before the result comes. There was no advice from my doctor and none from the NCDC staff either. By that afternoon, I started coughing. Then I knew it was getting to the next level. The next thing I did was to contact my older sister’s husband who happens to be Professor Tope Alonge who is in charge of the Covid team in Oyo State. He is the one coordinating all the Isolation Centers in Oyo State.
When I told him how I was feeling, he said, Wale, I think you have Covid. I hope you’ve been in isolation and I said yes. My wife and kids are not around. He asked if I’d done a test, I said yes but the result was not ready. He said he was going to text me a list of drugs that I would get. He said, apart from the drugs, when you get home, boil hot water, put rob inside the water cover your head tight in the bucket for about 10 minutes every morning and night. I said okay, sir. My sister who was also part of the conversation on phone said I should get ginger, garlic and lemon. She said I should make it into a paste, that is, peel the body, put it into a blender and blend it into a paste. Then, regularly, take hot water, with a little bit of honey and drink regularly. Drink it hot. So, I started doing that along with the list of drugs my brother-in-law, Professor Alonge sent me. He asked me to take, most importantly, one thousand milligrams of Vitamin C every morning. He also asked me to get Vitamin D, Zinc, Hydrochloroquine,
I sent my younger brother to help me get these drugs and guess what, getting these drugs was close to impossible. They have cleared all the drugs! Now, let me shock you more, I bought Hydrochloroquine N7,500 two weeks ago, another cousin of mine called me a few days ago and said he thinks his wife is coming down with Covid and wanted to know the drugs I used, so I gave him the list of drugs. When he got to the pharmacy, he had to call me and ask, did I say Hydrochloroquine, I said, yes, He said how much did I buy it, I said N7,500 and he said, Egbon, it’s now N33,000! They had packed all the drugs off the shelves. So the hospitals could resell to their patients. So, I isolated myself and took my drugs regularly. My family did a lot. My brothers and sisters called me morning, afternoon and night. Anytime I switched off my phone, they got very angry because every minute they were calling to hear from me and know how I was doing, so calling my phone and not getting through to me got them scared.
So, basically, its been three weeks and five days now and I’ve not gotten the result from the NCDC. I did another test with a Lagos state-approved private hospital and I got the result in 24 hours and it revealed I’m negative now. I thank God that during that period, I was able to get myself together. I was able to make food for myself. To take about 1000 milligrams of Vitamin C, you would need to eat a lot because it is acidic. That sort of volume is not good for ulcer patients. It can actually harm you if you’re an ulcer patient. It was a trying period for me. For a whole week, I had severe headache morning, afternoon and night. I would be sleeping and I could feel my head aching, such had never happened to me in my entire life. So, after my experience, I felt I should go public and make people understand that one, you can survive this thing. While I was on my sickbed, I learnt a couple of people I know, including my friend, Tunde Braimoh, had died. It was really scary, but we thank God, I’m still here. I’m still using my drugs. I’m recovering my strength slowly.
What are some of the major lessons you learnt that made you realize a few other things about life?
First, it’s important that you are responsible. If I was not responsible, I would’ve gone out and affected other people. While I was sick I did a lot of reading about Covid. From the internet, from my family, they sent me all types of materials on Covid-19 which I read. The thing is, if you have malaria now, it could be Covid. And if you have an underlining illness like Asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, it becomes worse. Covid-19 goes through your lungs and attacks every illness you have in your body and that is what it is going to use to bring you down. So, the most important thing is to build your immune system, that’s the advice I can give everybody listening or reading this interview right now. Build your immune system, you must make sure your immune system is ready for anything that comes around. And the only way to do that is to use Vitamin C, whether you have Covid or not. You can take about 1000 milligrams a day. It might seem expensive, but that’s part of the cross you’re expected to carry.
What kind of food were you eating?
Any kind of food. I was eating anything. I wasn’t told to eat any specific kind of food. There might be some special meals, I don’t know, but I was eating normally.
Were you scared at the time?
One of the things that Professor Alonge told me is that fear is one of the things Covid relies on to deal with you. So, I gave myself courage. I told myself, hey, man, get up. I reminded myself that I have people who love me around me and so I threw away the fear. Yes, it is something that could bring fear to people, but I made up my mind not to be scared.
Have you tried to figure out how you contracted the virus?
I have tried to but it’s been hard to place a finger on it. I wear my mask all the time. Though I’m someone who loves to go the market myself, but I can’t say this is where I got it from. But I suspect it’s something that I touched and I have a bad habit of touching my nose, my eyes, my body and those are the things that could get you Covid.
What advice would you give to people listening to us right now all over the world?
The most important thing is to build your immune system. I told you that I read a lot while I was down. I also read that 85% of the world will contract Covid. Now, how you treat it and how you attack it is what will save you. If you have an underlining illness, you must be careful. Till today, I still take my paste of ginger, garlic and lemon. I have not said that because I have now tested negative I won’t continue to build my immune system.