Role Models (Archive)

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…