Role Models

Praveena - I 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…
Jabulile - Jabulile Ngwenya is a fierce woman who doesn’t let her deafness hold her back. Jabulile attended mainstream schools in Canada, Swaziland and South Africa. She matriculated from The Wykeham Collegiate in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-­‐Natal, and holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Rhodes University where she specialised in writing and editing, and in multimedia. A versatile communicator and content creator with a keen eye for strategy and detail, Jabulile has a gift for words and language. She is a freelance writer and founder and director of Red Silk Tree Media, a company that focuses on bringing ideas to life…
Ramani - “My heart doesn’t care how much money I make or whether the words “President” are in my job title. My heart only cares that I listen to my soul, follow my truth, and shine in this world as the authentic me. This means that, in all likelihood, I won’t follow a conventional path." My name is Miss Ramani Moodley. I am 26 years old and I am an attorney of the High Court of South Africa. During June 2011, I had been conducting my articles of clerkship when I had incurred a drastic motor vehicle accident. I was…
Janine - My 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. In grade two I wanted to play netball like my sister, but I discovered that I do not have a lot of strength and that I am unable to run fast. I was unable to participate in any sports at school. Here my journey started of realising that I am different from my friends. My body…
Mache - My 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. I don’t blame myself for feeling that way, because…
Anika Bornman - I 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…
Zanele Situ – Paralympic athlete - I 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. Whilst I attended school in Umtata, my teacher encouraged me to take up javelin. My first competition was in 1988 and I participated in Javelin, shot-put, discus and table tennis. In September 2000, I became the first black athlete to win a Paralympic gold and silver medal at the 2000 Australia and 2004 Athens Paralympics. In order to be successful, I give my…
Simphiwe - I 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. I do experience obstacles and stressful situations at times, for example when I need to call the bank, legalities make…
Thuli - My 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.In 1995 I attended our annual school function. Unfortunately a fight broke out outside the venue and whilst I was purchasing my ticket to attend the event, shots were fired and I was hit by a stray bullet which rendered me paraplegic ever since. Just like all women I visited a gynaecologist and I was informed at a young age already that…