With this month’s newsletter focus on epilepsy and stroke, it’s nice to be able to include a good story on the subject.
One of our ex-I Can! learners Nohlanhla Majola, suffered a stroke in her early twenties as a result of a drug addiction. She spent 12 months in a state rehabilitation institution, after which time she returned to her life with a paralysis which affects the left-hand side of her body as well as affecting her speech.
Khulisani underwent a recruitment process in December to place 28 ex-learners at host sites for BHP, during which Nohlanhla became the Squeaky Wheel – not allowing us to accept that her disability might impair her ability to work with disadvantaged and disabled children. During the selection procedure, Nohlanhla insisted that she attend an interview with the principal of one of the children’s Homes, though I suggested that she may be better suited to a position which necessitated less physical constraints.
Nohlanhla was completely open about her disability in her interview: of how she defeated a habit which nearly killed her and how determined she is to conquer any challenge. Most importantly, she spoke about how much she wanted to give back and teach/show others how disabilities can be overcome.
Remarkably (to the writer) the interviewer set about re-arranging ex-learners, who had already been appointed to positions, to facilitate the employment of Nohlanhla in the rehab unit of the care facility. She now looks after young boys who have come from a life of addiction, and is able to understand and encourage them with compassion and empathy. She has retained the physical help of one of the house gardeners when there is a chore to be done which is difficult for her.
Her story and her determination are inspirational! She teaches us that attitude and hard work, determination and a good dose of nagging are what gets us where we need to be!
National Operations Manager – Khulisani