Community Empowerment

Do Not Let Disability Disable You

The City of Ekurhuleni commemorates National Disability Rights Awareness Month, from 3 November to 3 December, by celebrating persons who have managed to overcome their impairment and by supporting those whose progress is hindered by their impairment.

Thami Mankenkeza who became wheelchair bound after a car accident in 2007 is one person who lives his life beyond his disability.

The barriers that often prevent those with disabilities from fully integrating into communities is at times one’s inability to accept their disability.

“I lived in denial for a very long time to a point that I didn’t want to see someone else in a wheelchair because it reminded me of my disability. I wish I didn’t take that long to accept my reality, because I have been able to positively impact others like myself to acquire skills making them employable and not reliant on grants,” said Mankenkeza.

Mankenkeza started the Wheels of Change non-governmental organisation in 2017 to upskill those living with disabilities. Since he started the NGO he has felt even more abled as he successfully runs a driving school for people living with disabilities, and those who want to learn how to drive an automatic transmission vehicle.

Amongst the services offered at the driving school is remodelling a vehicle for hand driving controls. This service is designed for people who recently were injured and cannot use their limbs to drive.

The organisation also offers the following services:

  • Agricultural
  • Business plan analyses and development
  • Work readiness and placement programmes  
  • Sport, arts and recreation activities.

Mankenkeza encourages people living with disabilities not to isolate themselves but to go out and associate with other people living with disabilities to help them accept their reality sooner.

Interested parties wishing to engage further with of Wheels of Change can call 071 825 8070.