Disabled to be seen and heard

2016-06-30 06:00
Roda Nomhla Ndathini, Nokuthula Momoza, Sitshayi Noweitara Ntombizodwa, Michael Joyi, Councillor Monde Nqulwana, Nontsikelelo Nyakatya, Nolwandle Qhaba, of Kwanothemba Workshop for Disabled, Megan Williams, Councillor Nomfundo Moshani, Whip of Subcouncil 9, Councillor Monde Mabandla, of Ward 95 and Dambisa Mqumbisa-Malgas, on Friday, in Site B, Khayelitsha.

Roda Nomhla Ndathini, Nokuthula Momoza, Sitshayi Noweitara Ntombizodwa, Michael Joyi, Councillor Monde Nqulwana, Nontsikelelo Nyakatya, Nolwandle Qhaba, of Kwanothemba Workshop for Disabled, Megan Williams, Councillor Nomfundo Moshani, Whip of Subcouncil 9, Councillor Monde Mabandla, of Ward 95 and Dambisa Mqumbisa-Malgas, on Friday, in Site B, Khayelitsha.

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The realities of those who live with disabilities was brought to the fore after a local councillor raised their issues on a Disability Awarenes Day last Thursday.

Ward 95 Councillor Monde Mabandla said he felt that the disabled were not given attention and decided to host the event in his constituency.

He organised the day in partnership with Subcouncill 9, the City of Cape Town’s Department of Social Development and Early Childhood Development Khayelitsha District.

It was held at the community hall in Site B, next to Nonkqubela Mall.

Mabandla said he was touched after noticing that there were no events, or are very few, which focus on raising awareness about disability in the area.

“We organise events for youth, do Christmas lunch for senior citizens and many other events, but we forget about those who are living with disabilities. They are vulnerable in the community and they are facing many challenges because there are things that they cannot do on their own. There is a need for such events so that we will raise awareness about them and also empower them with information regarding their rights. I do not want them to think they are different to anyone in the community,” Mabandla said.

He also said it was the first time he organised such event.

About 50 people who are living with disability were invited from across the area.

Nolwandle Qhaba, of Kwanothemba Workshop for Disabled, praised the event.

“It is important to us, because we are being recognised. There are gaps that are not fulfilled in communities regarding people who are living with disabilities. Some of us are abused by our family members. They take our disability grants and use them for their own benefits. They do not even empower us with skills that we need.

There are a lot of people who are living with disability in the area, but some families hide them away from the community. Some parents do not accept it if they give birth to a disabled child.

Discrimination is still rife against us. There are a lot of things that disabled people can do on their own, because they are human beings like any other,” Qhaba said.

Qhaba, who was also born disabled, is a mother to four children aged, 25, 20, 11 and seven.

She uses an artificial leg on her side.

Qhaba initiated a project which saw about 1000 backyarders and other needy residents getting RDP houses in Machala, since 2009.

She said she approached the City of Cape Town after identifying three sites which were suitable for building houses.

Mabandla also gave a donation of t-shirts to Soul Connexion, a youth group of Clap and Tap music, on the day.

He has been working close with the group for a few years now.

Nathi Gentile, of Soul Connexion, said they were “happy” for the donation.

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