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'I can because I am able'

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One of the most successful disabled personalities in the Vhembe District Municipality, Mr Rofhiwa Manwadu, has authored a book addressing the plight of disabled people worldwide. The book, titled “I Can Because I Am Able,” sheds light on Manwadu’s own journey while living with cerebral palsy.

Born with the condition, Manwadu shares the challenges of growing up with a disability, including periods of homelessness in his early life. From as young as six years old, he recounts knocking on doors for support, from pushing trolleys for shoppers to selling groceries on the streets, and even enduring nights sleeping outdoors in open bushes. Despite these obstacles, he eventually secured full-time employment with the Thulamela Local Municipality.

The book also explores traditional African beliefs regarding ancestral powers, detailing how Manwadu, unable to walk at the age of six, experienced a remarkable change after undergoing a traditional ritual known as muphaso.

“I Can Because I Am Able” is a compelling read for all audiences, offering insights into the African adage that hard work yields positive results in life.

Manwadu gained international recognition when he participated in the Olympic Games and had the opportunity to meet both former International World Boxing Icon Mohammed Ali and the world’s most famous former political prisoner, Nelson Mandela, simultaneously.

In addition to his Olympic achievements, Manwadu has represented his country in the Paralympic Games at various international venues, including in Germany, Sweden, Australia, Brazil, Italy, China, America, and several African nations.

 

 
 

Rofhiwa Manwadu donates a copy of his book to the principal of the Grace and Love Special School for the Disabled, Ms Gladys Tshivhase, during a function at the school.  Photo: Victor Mukwevho.

 

By: Victor Mukwevho

Victor Mukwevho Ne-vumbani joined the Mirror during it's inception in 1990. He joined the SABC newsroom in 1995, and was known by  listeners as "A u fhedzisela ari". He was a news editor for The Tembisan Newspaper from 2007 to 2015. He rejoined the Limpopo Mirror newspaper in June 2022 as a freelance journalist.

 

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