South Africa celebrates National Disability Rights Awareness Month annually between 3 November and 3 December. To explore and understand the challenges of people with disabilities, we chat to Mbali Nana who gives a raw and candid account of her experience of being physically impaired.
Nana is a 25-year-old single mother, who is originally from Johannesburg and moved to Cape Town when her mother tragically passed in 2006. In 2022, Nana survived a car accident but, unfortunately, her right leg had to be amputated due to the amount of damage it suffered as a result of the car accident.
Ashamed to be in her own skin
She says her family’s behaviour completely changed towards her once she became physically impaired. Even though there are examples of people who have treated her well and with dignity, she says the impact of the response from her family members and community has left her feeling depressed and at times she was ashamed to be in her own skin.
When talking about physical impairment, many might think about limitations in terms of space and mobility. However, Nana also talks about limitations in their career options, her dating life and her social life. Before getting her leg amputated, Nana reflects on a life that included going to parties and dating. The physical impairment somewhat disabled those options as she feels people do not see her anymore, but only the disability.
Nana hopes for a future where people with disabilities are seen and understood as humans who also have needs, feelings and dreams.
In the discussion, Nana further elaborates on her challenge in finding employment and acceptance.
Listen to the full interview on the Health For Mzansi podcast:
Apple Podcasts: Click here to listen on any Apple device.
Google Podcasts: Click here to listen on Google Podcast.
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