Thu Oct 27 07:10:28 SAST 2016

She hasn't given up on life

By unknown | Jul 18, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Tilo Setlhare

Tilo Setlhare

The first thing that catches the eye as one walks into the beautifully furnished house of the Keledi family is the striking beauty of Nancy, the blind law graduate from the University of Natal.

They reside in Bhongweni, a mining township belonging to Harmony Gold Mine near Robinson, Randfontein.

"I have to accept my fate with bravery. Blindness is part of me," says Keledi, whose cherished dream is to become an attorney

A freak accident at her parents' residence in Mohlakeng put paid to Keledi's eyesight.

It happened when Keledi was eight-months-old. The house was being renovated when a door fell on her head.

Doctors who operated on her discovered that the optic nerve was badly damaged, rendering her completely blind.

"For me that was the beginning of a journey," she says.

There is no rancour in her voice, as she narrates her ordeal.

"I have accepted my fate and am resilient enough to accept my condition. It could have happened to anybody," she says.

Despite her impediment, this did not discourage her from book worming her way through New Horizons High School in Pietermaritzburg, Arthur Blackshall School For The Blind And Deaf, where she passed her Grade 12 with flying colours.

The University of Natal, where Keledi had enrolled for a BA degree, was more of an adventure than an academic journey. "At university no text books were written in braille.

You had to get a colleague to read the typed text to you.

"You had to have a tape recorder at hand to capture every single word read to you. Imagine having to study through a tape recorder,'" she says with incredulous laughter.

" It was worth it. Thank God I am not a crybaby."

To make ends meet, Keledi says she approached the Randfontein Town Council to ask them to set up a disability desk for people with disabilities.

"Unfortunately my request was turned down because understandably the Council did not have enough funds for such an undertaking.

"Yet a Youth Desk was implemented long after I had make this request. It just shows how people with disabilities are treated."

On completing her BA degree, Keledi was finally roped in by the Legal Aid Board in Benoni, Ekurhuleni in May this year. She serves articles at the Daveyton magistrates' court and around the East Rand.

"I am now studying towards an LLB degree tackling courses, such as estates, legal ethics and business transactions

She will be sitting for her final examinations in August and expects to be accepted to the Bar as an attorney.

"I want to make a difference in people's lives especially those with disabilities. There is so much potential in such people and this potential needs to be unearthed."

Keledi is blessed with two daughters, Thato, 8, and Mamotlhabane, 4.

She is grateful to her mother Sara, who is a nursing sister at Sir Albert Private Hospital in Robinson, Randfontein.


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