Role Models (Archive)
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 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.
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.