AFTER ten years of living with epilepsy, Teni Majekodunmi braved a town centre performance and fundraised £400 for a national young person’s charity.

Her seizures held off during the 27-year-old’s one-woman show in Lion Walk, Colchester, which Teni spent nearly five months preparing for by uploading cover songs to social media.

Not only did the nerve-racking performance boost her confidence, having not sung in public since being a child, but gave her a chance to educate people about epilepsy.


Teni dons her purple Young Epilepsy t-shirt 

She said: “I was really nervous at first but thankfully, I had my mum and sister there so once I got into it, I calmed down and could have fun.

“I had to focus on what I was doing because if I get too stressed or worried, there’s a chance I can have a seizure, so I felt really happy I managed to go for it.

“Whitney Houston’s The Greatest Love of All was the most popular song, but it was the one I was most scared to do as I was worries I’d be screeching in people’s ears.”

Teni’s fundraising will be donated to Young Epilepsy, a charity working exclusively with young people up to age 25.

She developed epilepsy as a teenager just as she was preparing to go to university.

It meant she had to pause her studies but later went on to achieve a forensics and criminology degree at Essex University before completing a master's in psychology.

Teni now works in learning support at Colchester Institute, where she studied health and social care.

She said: “There’s definitely been some scary moments like being in hospital and having to be resuscitated.

“The worst part for me is I don’t remember anything about my seizures so all I know is what my family or friends tell me.

“I have tonic-clonic seizures, which is what people are most familiar with when a person collapses on the floor, and also absence seizures which looks like a person is daydreaming.

“During college I had one in the middle of the street and when I came round, I didn’t have my bag, I wasn’t sure where I was and I was by myself.”


Teni was nervous of having a seizure during her performance

Neurologists are uncertain of what provokes Teni’s seizures but stress, feeling emotional or not being active enough are thought to be potential triggers.

She said: “Having one in public is one of my biggest fears which has happened a couple of times, but sometimes it can make me laugh.

“I remember being at my sister’s sports day and just as she was about to start the race, I began to have a seizure.

“She was glad I was okay but also frustrated because she’d won the race, and I was the one holding the camera,” Teni joked.

Raising awareness is something the learning support worker has vowed to continue, especially in Colchester where she realised there were no major events being held for Purple Day last month - the annual international awareness day.

Knowing how fearful people can be of epilepsy, Teni wants to tackle this anxiety.

“I want to tell people not to be afraid and to up their knowledge on epilepsy because people don’t realise it’s a very common condition. Knowing seizure first aid is very important too.”

To donate click here

Learn more about seizure first aid here.