“Many people look down on disabled people because they think we are useless – but, as for me I know my future is in my hands and I don’t want to depend on handouts and a disability grant for survival.”
A disabled Livhuwani Sakkie Sigogo is a zealous achiever, who has put his disability aside to set a shining example by becoming a torch-bearer for the disabled members of his community.
“I was shot in the body during an incident some years ago, and I was hospitalised for some time. However, on my release from hospital I couldn’t walk anymore. So I had to use the aid of a wheelchair. It was a painful and frustrating phase of my life as it heralded a turn of events or lifestyle. I couldn’t walk or run anymore.”
However, Sakkie didn’t let the loss of his legs’ use stand in the way of his dreams to contribute to the economic development of his community and the country. He had an aptitude in fixing domestic electrical appliances such as kettles, microwaves and washing machines. So, he set up his small workshop in his home’s yard.
“I continued fixing those things for my neighbours and other villagers right from the wheelchair. Soon I was fixing cars, refrigerators and air-corns. At some stage I had more clients and work than I could accommodate as I worked alone. I found four youths and my wife, roped them in the work. I trained them so that they got to know what to do. Today I work with them and we have many clients who respect us for our services.”
Sigogo continues to leave his disability aside and do everything on his own, including working in his workshop.
“While most people prefer talking the simple language of computers, pen and paper, I speak the tough language of spanners, radiators, gearboxes, bolts and nuts.”
He wanted to set an example to other people with disabilities and show them that being handicapped does not mean that one is useless. It all depends on one’s attitude and determination to succeed and the urge to complete a task.
“Most of the people think that the only thing for the disabled is to sit and wait for the government’s social grant. I want to prove the fact that the disabled are useful people who are also gifted and creative.”
It his dedication and hard work that helped him to achieve his goals, despite his disability.
“Most of the community members look down on disabled people because they think we are useless. It is only our bodies that are deformed, but our minds are razor sharp. Time for sleeping is over and we need to be strong enough to realise our dreams. Disability must not be an excuse for self-development. Why stay at home and wait for the government’s disability grant? The money is too little and it cannot cater for all my needs.”
He dreams of owning a decent workshop where he would conduct his business professionally. He believes he would make it because he always dreams of success.
“Success does not depend on who you are, but it depends on how you apply your dreams in real life situations. It’s not only about generating a lot of money but utilising one’s talent and rendering service to my beloved community. Contributing to other people’s lives makes me feel proud because I am assisting in the economic growth of my country.”
Tell us: Do you think we, as the society, are doing enough to accommodate people living with disability?