‘Disability is not a curse’

2014-08-25 00:00

WOMEN with disabilities are still struggling to get re­cognition from other members of the society, said Ntombizonke Cele of Disability Connexion.

Cele (41) was speaking at a workshop for people living with disabilities within ­Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas. She said ­people must know that disability is not a curse.

“Life is full of challenges but our main challenge as disabled people is that society does not accept us as one of them. In some homes, a disabled person will be locked in a bedroom and will be kept away so that no one sees him or her during family gatherings.

“There are people who just take decisions on our behalf.”

Disability ministry co-ordinator Barbara Watt said the church needed to play a bigger role in accommodating disabled people. “Disabled women or women who give birth to children with disabilities should not be treated by the church as sinners or outsiders,” she said.

Cele said that even in her church, a pastor tried several times to “save” her by praying, but nothing happened.

“The pastor did not want to accept that I was disabled and he prayed for me. He believed that I was going to be saved but it did not happen. They need to accept that we are disabled.”

She grew up in the rural area of South Coast where she matriculated and moved to Pietermaritzburg to find a job. She now works at Pietermaritzburg Garden City Motors as a workshop clerk after unsuccessfully looking for a job for seven years.

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