Role Models


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. 


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 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. 


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.


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.