‘Deaf doesn’t mean less able’ for young entrepreneur

Tebogo Mashatola, who was born deaf, wants to build a school for the disabled.

A young Midrand resident who was born deaf hopes to change the narrative about deafness.

Tebogo Mashatola is an aspiring entrepreneur who was born and raised in Kaalfontein, Midrand is a finalist in Mr Deaf SA 2020.

He said that he wants to change the lives of others. “The fact that I am deaf does not make me less ‘abled’, I want to show others with disabilities of any form, that they can still reach and live their dreams like everyone else.” Mashatola spoke of his daily challenges.

“Sometimes it becomes difficult to communicate with people who do not know me, people who do not also understand sign language. So, in most cases I have to take a pen or my cell phone and jot down what I want to say”.

Helping children from disadvantaged families

“But so far I think I have made our community accept me and my other friends who are just like me, I now have a lot of friends in our community who are not deaf.”

Mashatola said that he dreams of opening a public school for people with disabilities. “I believe this will also help children from disadvantaged families by giving them an opportunity to have a brighter future.

“This is one of the reasons why I entered the Mr Deaf South Africa pageant after one of my friends sent me details of it. This is one of the ways in which I thought I could motivate other people with disabilities.”

Mashatola concluded by adding that he hopes this road he has taken will encourage others to also want to shine and reach for their dreams irrespective of their disabilities or their home background.

Miss, Mr and Mrs Deaf South Africa

The vison of Miss, Mr and Mrs Deaf South Africa is to see South Africa’s deaf society develop through the medium of the beauty and entertainment industry, by enhancing self-discipline, confidence, freedom of culture and presenting opportunities in order to empower people through competition. The mission of the Pageant is to stage a production of the highest calibre, featuring deaf people who are adaptable, flexible and the true heroes. In addition to this, we would like the Pageant to become a vehicle which drives awareness and understanding of our deaf community.

For more information go to www.missdeafsa.co.za



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