Wanderful Women

MarleneWomen with disabilities often encounter prejudice and negative attitudes or have many barriers to conquer on their journey to achieve success and reach their life goals.  The world around us loudly shouts what physical beauty should look like and that anything less than this is not worthy.  

The focus is much more on the physical beauty than on the inner beauty and it omits to share the courage of disabled women and women in general.  Don’t get me wrong, of course women with disabilities also enjoy looking good and we do see ourselves as beautiful – but as long as we do not ONLY use the physical to feel happy and fulfilled.  We feel comfortable in our own skin and have learnt to accept ourselves and to live life fully.

In 2008 Marlene le Roux, wanted to perceptions with her book, called “Look at me”.  This book showcases the real life stories of 23 courageous, strong and sensual women with various disabilities in South Africa.  Some of the women were born with a disability, others was disabled through an accident or illness later in life.  ‘I realised from a young age that society puts people with disabilities in a box with an “ag shame” attitude and I felt I wanted to celebrate who I am – disability and all.’  ‘I realised that only a person with a disability can change the mindset of society.

Marlene says that the photographs and stories allow women to reflect on their challenges and their inner journey to personal self-mastery. 

Here are a few pictures and brief stories of women that is featured in the “Look at me” book.

Praveena

PraveenaI am hopeful that I will succeed in inspiring and motivating you. I have been pondering over how best to impart some life lessons to you in a manner that will ensure that what you read from this message remains with you as you go through your various life lessons. After much deliberation, I decided that I am going to address you on my challenges as a blind women in South Africa, and how I was able to transcend these challenges despite the odds against me. I am hoping that in sharing my life experience with you that I succeed in motivating you and inspiring you to persevere when all seems lost. 


There is one thing that I must stress, you need to always remember that hard work and perseverance make difficult goals easy to achieve. I want you to always have a picture in your mind of what you want to achieve, who you want to be, and watt type of life you want to create for yourself in the future. You will never have an exact plan of action of how you are going to make the picture a reality as life is unpredictable filled with curve balls and challenges, and also opportunities and breakthroughs. However, by having this picture in your mind, you will have somewhere and something you want to aspire to. 

BONITA - VISUALLY IMPAIRED

BONITABlindness descended upon me at the age of four months, silently robbing me of the chance to experience a Capetonian sunset

I journeyed from being a blind baby, to being a blind toddler reaching out to foreign objects with eager hands. I then blossomed into being a blind girl with ponytails and matching ribbons.

My teenage years were mild and sweet. And then, like a ship on her maiden voyage, I cruised into womanhood

I got my degree in journalism through hard work. Dragging my poor mom through countless academic libraries, while my dad waited outside, practicing the patience of a saint.

I took the challenges to make my dream a reality, not because I wanted to be a social show-off, but because I needed to be recognised as a person in my own right.

The journey still continues and I fight the battles with the same fervour with which I love. I suppose it is the small print on my birth certificate, that little clause nobody knows about, except me and women like me. The clause that states that we’ll constantly have to prove ourselves.

DONNA - BORN WITH NO RIGHT HAND

DONNAI was born without my right hand... For any parent it is the happiest day when they welcome their newborn baby into the world, but nothing can prepare a proud new mom and dad for the news that there is something wrong with their baby.

At first the children at my primary school had many questions about the girl with the one hand. Some of them were cruel, but they soon got used to the idea. Once I came to terms with the fact that I was different, I became more confident and used this to my advantage.

One day my mother tested me – as she often did. She gave me slices of bread to hold. After the sixth slice, there was no more place on my arms to pack it. When she handed me the seventh slice, I quickly realised that I needed to make a plan, so I opened my mouth and in went the seventh slice! That’s how my mother ensured that I fully adapted to the world. She played such a big role in my self- acceptance.

Once everyone around you accepts you for you, it will be easy for you to accept yourself, my mother taught me

REINETTE - VISUALLY IMPAIRED

REINETTEIt took some persuading to convince me to contribute to this book. Purely because I saw myself as an inappropriate subject. I am on the wrong side of fifty and definitely on the wrong side of eighty kilograms.

A man whom I will always remember with the most profound tenderness once paid me the following compliment. He said: ‘I read somewhere that in the eighteenth century they used to make canaries blind so that that they would sing more beautifully. I believe God made you blind in order to make you a better lover.’

The media brainwashes society into believing that in order to be valued, to matter, it is necessary to be young, slim, beautiful and most importantly, to be whole.

If you have any defect, even a small one like a mole in the wrong place, you are not desirable. My problem is not a misplaced mole; I am blind. And when last did you see a spread in a magazine showcasing beautiful blind women, or any disabled woman for that matter?

Disability is never made out to be beautiful.

MASINGITA - CEREBRAL PALSY

MASINGITAAt birth a lack of oxygen resulted in my disability. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

I was a happy child because my parents treated me like any other child. I was expected to do household chores and other things that come with the responsibility o being a firstborn child.

It was easier for me to be around children than adults, because the children didn’t discriminate against me and they saw me as one of them. In the end, my disability was harder on my parents than it was on me.

When I won the Shoprite/Checkers Woman of the Year Award in 2004, doors started to open or me The battle or us has only been halon because the ultimate achievement would be when people change their attitudes towards people with disabilities. I still feel that people with disabilities are faced with twice the amount of obstacles. They are reminded daily that they are different from others. Decisions are still made for us and I would like to see that change.

In the last five years, I have seen myself grow into a very powerful business woman, but one who will never forget where she came from. One who will strive to always help others, never forgetting that she herself is blessed.

SHELLEY - PARAPLEGIC

SHELLEYAt the age of 24, I woke up to find myself in hospital with empty walls and broken dreams. I was just another victim of the notorious taxi wars in South Africa. Long before the doctors had the courage to admit it, my body had already told me: I was paralysed from the waist down.

I have come to realise that unless we (as people with disabilities) are able to be the maker of our own images, our lives will constantly be depicted on the basis of the assumptions others hold of who we are, how we live, how we love.

Therefore, I am a firm believer in positive thinking and I have witnessed its full power in my life. I want to re-imagine my imagination, create a different way of seeing, writing, being. I am not interested in being like everybody else. I find that rather dull actually.

I know about this dance of living. This dance is not with the feet. This dance is with the heart. And when I dance with the heart, music comes through me.

Music is me. And then all that I am, is the dance.


BARENICE - CEREBRAL PALSY

BARENICEAt the age of two I could still not walk and I was referred to the Red Cross Hospital for physiotherapy. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

I realised this would mean a life of being treated differently, like the day I told my aunt about my dreams for the future. One of which was to get married.

When she heard this, she said: ‘What man would want to marry someone like you?’ I was shocked and could not believe that she could be so cruel and heartless.

Luckily her words were untrue. I fell in love with a wonderful man. I knew that he was the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

We were engaged for three years before we got married. We are blessed with three beautiful children.

Becoming a mother has completed my journey into womanhood…

 

Janine

Janine BeukesMy name is Janine and I am 15 years old. I was diagnosed with Congenital Myopathy at the age of 3 years.  This is a disease that causes weakness throughout the skeletal muscle, meaning that my muscles cause me to become weak. 

Mache

Mache SmithMy name is Mache Smith and I am eighteen years old. I would like to introduce myself to you in a way that you would be able to get an idea of who I am, what I do, why I do things and what my passion is. Like every other teenage girl has her dreams, I have mine. Everyone at a certain time in life has moments where they feel as if what they dream of achieving seems impossible, and to be honest with you, I felt that way.

Anika Bornman

Anika BornmanI was born with cerebral palsy and I am a wheelchair user. My disability is very deceiving, in that my upper body looks quite “normal”.  My legs are affected as well. My ability to write and type is affected. In short, I can do everything with my hands, but at a slow pace. Be that as it may, this does not stop me from living a full, productive and independent life. I am many times frustrated at the slow pace my life moves at, but then I realise that my life is the greatest gift I received from God and that my time is not my own, but His. 

Zanele Situ – Paralympic athlete 

Zanele SituI was born in Matatile, Eastern Cape in 1971. A tuberculosis spinal virus attacked my nervous system when I was 12 years old, and this caused me to become a paraplegic. 

Simphiwe

SimphiweI was born deaf and I was raised in Soweto, Johannesburg.  When I grew up, people in my community were not comfortable to communicate freely with me, because I was a deaf person. Luckily I was a cheerful child and had no problem to socialise with hearing people. My deafness is genetic; my grandmother lost her hearing when she was old. My brother is deaf as well. We are the first generation of deaf people in our family.

Thuli

ThuliMy name is Thuli and I want to share what motherhood has meant for me.  Motherhood did not happen automatically for me and it was something that initially I thought I would never be able to experience.

Women with disabilities own and manage various types of businesses across different industries.   They render services and sell products to individuals, corporates, NGO’s, government and businesses. 

 

Employers are encouraged to use their services and to ensure that they are added to their procurement database.  Women with various disabilities are also encouraged to network with each other and use each other’s services.  

 

Utilising disabled women’s businesses, skills and talents will promote economic growth and increase capacity building.

 

By becoming a member of WAND, you will get access to a list of disabled women entrepreneurs.


 

Here is a list of projects, initiatives and projects that focus on youth with disabilities.

 

Organization Name

Contact person (owner)
Products/Services rendered
Contact Info

TheChaeliCampaign

The Chaeli Campaign

Zelda Mycroft (CEO)
Therapies Programme for children
Assistive devices Programme for children
Inclusive education
African Odyssey Programme
Social Entrepreneurs Programme
Vocation & Rehabilitation
Tel: 0861 242 354 or 021 7614682
Fax: 021 7972926
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Find us on Facebook

Here is a list of businesses that is owned by women with disabilities.  They render products and services to individuals, corporates, NGO’s, government and businesses.

 

Employers are encouraged to use their services and to ensure that they are added to their procurement database.  

Women with various disabilities are also encouraged to network with each other and use each other’s services.  

Utilising disabled women’s businesses, skills and talents will promote economic growth and increase capacity building.

Contact them directly should you wish to enquire about their products and services

 

Organization Name
Contact person (owner)
Products/Services rendered
Contact Info
Nicky Abdinor
Nicky Abdinor
Clinical Psychologist
Inspirational Speaker
Disability training
Mobile: +27 84 554 0990
Tel: +27 21 5553298
E-mail:info(at)nickyabdinor.com
Location: Cape Town 
Website: http://nickyabdinor.com

Disability Awareness Initiative

Disability Awareness Initiative (Pty) Ltd

Petra Burger
Disability Sensitization
Disabled Employment Policies
Motivational Speaking
Disability & labour law
Services for disabled employees
Mobile: +27 795162467
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Location: Pretoria

Words@Work

Words@work

Karin Schoeman
Content writing for websites
Research
Transcription
Proofreading
Data capturing
Manage on-line business profile
Mobile: +27 824460039
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Location: Pretoria
Shakila Maharaj
Shakila Maharaj
Psychologist
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Location: Durban
AJ Latimore Consulting – Universal Solutions
Mandy Latimore
Independent Consultant within the Disability Sector
Specialist in Universal Access Assessment
Sensitisation & Awareness
Columnist – Rolling Inspiration Magazine
Tel: +27 11 442 5143
Fax: +27 86 513 9877
Mobile: +27 83 283 3370
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lindandanda Consulting investments and Trading CC
Sebenzile Matsebula (Executive Director)
Consulting and Facilitation
Mobile: +27 829050432
Tel: +27 118030145
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Location: Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Octavia Leisa
Octavia Leisa
Tax Practitioner
Mobile: +27 727857935
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Location: Alberton, Gauteng

Here is a list of Arts and Crafts Entrepreneurs

SIWELA’S CRAFT ENTERPRISE (Xoliswa Beauty Ntengo, Eastern Cape)

SIWELA’S CRAFT ENTERPRISEXoliswa Beauty Ntengo started beading and sewing as a hobby when she was still employed. Xoliswa is a lady with a physical disability. She is from one of the rural areas of Umtata in the Eastern Cape.

When Xoliswa lost her job and joined other people with disabilities who are living on government disability grant, she decided to change the hobby of beading and sewing into a profit making project. In March 2009 she registered a CC.  She started a self-help project to supplement the government disability grant.  Xoliswa then converted her garage into a workshop and a display room.  She has since changed her hobby into an income creating enterprise. 

In her project she beads, amongst many other items, Xhosa traditional beads and sews the original  Xhosa traditional clothing like mbaco and a lot more. Xoliswa also trains individuals who are interested in bead work and sewing. She has a team of five people.

Siwela's Craft Beads 02Siwela's Craft Beads 01

Contact details

Mobile: +27 79 418 9164

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LIKE IT LEATHER (Elsa Lowings, Freestate)

 

ElsaElsa Lowings, a wheelchair user, got involved with skills development when she trained individuals from previously disadvantaged communities in dressmaking and patchwork under contract with the Department of Labour.

Elsa’s creative drive and passion enabled her to introduce new skills into the community. Upon meeting Glenda, who had the same interest and ability, ‘Like it Leather’ was born. Leather patchwork is created by cutting squares out of discarded leather and stitching pieces together. In this way, discarded material is not only recycled, but beautiful genuine leather articles are created. 

Local labour is involved in the process, from sorting and cutting the leather, to pasting the leather prior to stitching. However, due to not having enough sewing machines, it is not yet possible to train individuals to do the sewing.  As the business grows, this problem should be solved. This process allows persons to work from home, whilst also creating income opportunities for individuals. 

In its catalogue, ‘Like it Leather’ presents its stylish and exclusive range of leather products, all handcrafted in an ambitious job creation project which is based in the Free State.

Examples of the leatherwork work are reflected below:

Elsa Lowings Leather work

Elsa is also an accomplished painter. Below are some examples of her art work.

Elsa Lowings Paintings

Contact Details

Tel: +27 11 452 2774

Fax: +27 11 452 6583

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MOSAIC WORK (Annete Maree)

 

At the age of 18 months, Annete Maree was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.  As a child, she attended Muriel Brand and West Rand School.  She completed the last 3 years of her scholastic education with the assistance of a private teacher.  She wrote and successfully passed her senior certificate in 2001.

After completing her school career, Annete completed a few computer courses. She opened a computer training centre at a pre-school, where she taught basic computer skills. In 2003, her parents moved to Botswana.  There Annete again taught basic computer skills to pre-schoolers and young children.  During this period, Annete also enrolled in Intec for a course in pre-school education.

Upon her return to South Africa, she realised with great disillusionment that she could not obtain work at any pre-school as a result of her being a wheelchair user.   However, she did not give up hope and completed a short course as a receptionist at Damlin College.

During her spare time, she occupied herself creatively with scrapbooking and also completed a course in ceramic work and the making of costume jewellery.  It is also during this time that Annete met Lucelle, who was teaching classes in mosaic work.  What a wonderfully gifted person!  With Lucelle’s support and also with the assistance of Annete’s parents and younger sister, Annete established a small business in ceramic articles. Annete makes different articles and mostly uses glass tiles and glass beads, which is pasted onto wood. Ceramic is used for the bowls which she makes.


Contact Details

Tel: +27 11 452 2774

Fax: +27 11 452 6583

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Annete Maree Mosaics

Here is a list of Hospitality Entrepreneurs

 

LENTHA’S LODGE (Nthabiseng Molongoana, Free State)

NthabisengNthabiseng Molongoana is a woman with a disability who has achieved success despite facing huge challenges. She became severely disabled after a taxi accident in 1994.

She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with Statistics and Psychology from the University of the Free State in 2004.  She has worked at the Association for Persons with Disabilities, Free State for the past 8 years. She has served as professional advisor regarding Disability Issues for the APD Free State since 1996.  

She further gained business management skills through Tourism Enterprise Programme (TEP) & Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA). Her interest in the tourism business started when she worked as part of a team to develop the Disability Experience Tourism Route in the Free State Province. She realized the need for wheelchair accessible establishments for people with disabilities. This was one of the reasons she converted her house into a 5 bedroom guesthouse, called Lentha’s Lodge.

The highlight in managing her business came when she became the Free State finalist in the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the year Award. This gave her opportunities to showcase her business in Berlin, Germany ITB and INDABA Durban ICC in 2012.

 

Contact Details

Mobile: +27 83390 4098

Fax: +27 862105985

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lentha's Lodge

Here is a list of businesses that is owned by women with disabilities.  They render products and services to individuals, corporates, NGO’s, government and businesses. 

 

Employers are encouraged to use their services and to ensure that they are added to their procurement database.  

Women with various disabilities are also encouraged to network with each other and use each other’s services.  

Utilising disabled women’s businesses, skills and talents will promote economic growth and increase capacity building.

Contact them directly should you wish to enquire about their products and services.

 

Organization Name
Contact person (owner)
Products/Services rendered
Contact Info

Twospinningwheels Production

Twospinningwheels Production

Shelley Barry
Conducts video training
Produce feature documentaries and fiction with local content
Film and edit events for corporates, government and NGO’s
Mentor a new generation of filmmakers
Film samples can be viewed online on youtube
Mobile: +27 823775515
Tel: +27 21 447 9512 / +27 41 3673618
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Location: Cape Town
Masingita with Confidence
Masingita
TV show Masingita With Confidence Soweto TV, channel 150
Motivational Speaker
MC
Keynote Speaker
Panelist
Facilitation
Fax: +27 862428268
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://masingita.net/
Location: Gauteng

Here is a list of Transport Entrepreneurs

 

Nicky’s Drive 

Nicky's DriveNICKY’S DRIVE is a registered non-profit organisation (086-364-NPO) that aims to assist people with disabilities within South Africa to be MOBILE and INDEPENDENT through the funding of car adaptations.

The ability to drive a modified vehicle not only provides the freedom that we so often take for granted, but it also enables people with disabilities to develop their self-confidence and contribute to society through their work and family life. 

Contact Info

Tel: +27 21 5553298

Fax: +27 866191442

Mobile: +27 845540990

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: http://www.nickysdrive.com/

Nicky's

Here is a list of businesses, NGO’s or NPO’s that is owned by women with disabilities.  They render products and services to individuals, corporates, NGO’s, government and businesses.

 

Employers are encouraged to use their services and to ensure that they are added to their procurement database.  

Women with various disabilities are also encouraged to network with each other and use each other’s services.  

Utilising disabled women’s businesses, skills and talents will promote economic growth and increase capacity building.

Contact them directly should you wish to enquire about their products and services.

 

Organization Name
Contact person (owner)
Products/Services rendered
Contact Info

EUBE Foundation

EUBE Foundation (NPO)

Barenice Peffer
Eube foundation is a Ministry with the aim of empowering people with disabilities.
Mobile: +27 843371431 / 0823371453
Fax: +27 862357134
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Here is a list of Speakers

 

Organization Name
Contact person (owner)
Products/Services rendered
Contact Info

Sheri Brynard

Sheri Brynard

Suzette Brynard
Sheri is the international Ambassador for all people with Down syndrome
Conducts motivational speaking worldwide
Conducts key note speeches worldwide
Tel: +27 51 4013654
Mobile: +27 834150459
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Location: Bloemfontein, South Africa

Here is a list of businesses that is owned by women with disabilities.  They render products and services to individuals, corporates, NGO’s, government and businesses. 

 

Employers are encouraged to use their services and to ensure that they are added to their procurement database.  

Women with various disabilities are also encouraged to network with each other and use each other’s services.  

Utilising disabled women’s businesses, skills and talents will promote economic growth and increase capacity building.

Contact them directly should you wish to enquire about their products and services.

 

Organization Name
Contact person (owner)
Products/Services rendered
Contact Info

NovelTravel

Novel Travel cc

Mandy Latimore
Travel Agent - specialising in travel for persons with disabilities and SCUBA travel
Tel: +27 11 442 5143
Fax: +27 86 513 9877
Mobile: +27 83 283 3370
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Location: Johannesburg
Website: www.noveltravel.co.za

Here is a list of businesses that is owned by women with disabilities. They sell products to interested individuals and organisations.

Businesses and organisations are encouraged to purchase their products and ensure that they are added to your procurement database. 

Women with various disabilities are also encouraged to network with each other and to use each other’s services, and purchase products. 

Utilising disabled women’s businesses, skills and talents will promote economic growth and increase capacity building.

Contact them directly should you wish to enquire about their products.

Fionna Marais – Sales 

Fionna sells Consol glass products

Here are pictures of some of the glass products

Grip and Go
Solar Jar
Eve Travel Mug
Confessions of a Plate Addict

Contact information

Rid Ribbon Contact Card

http://www.facebook.com/fionna.marais

http://za.linkedin.com/pub/fionna-marais/60/963/890/

Organization Name
Contact person (owner)
Products/Services rendered
Contact Info
Disability Pride Pty Ltd
Bonisiwe Mdingi (Bonny)
Event management
Catering
Cleaning services
Supply services
Vehicle rental
Tel: +27 11 7610253
Mobile: +27 846900046
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.disabilitypride.wozamail.co.za
Location: Gauteng
Mapule Moloto
Mapule Moloto
Catering
Mobile: +27 842490587
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Location: Gauteng
Hillstream Beverages
Pam Hill
Beverages
Tel: +27 11 8078057
Mobile: +27 72148 1109
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.hillstream.co.za
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HillstreamSA
Location: Gauteng