ghastly crash like a renewal
A HORRIFIC and near fatal accident was not enough to stop Cape Town student Nokuthula Kwankwa from graduating with a four-year degree recently.
And her conquest of major a adversity does not end with her attaining a university degree. She intends to go far beyond that.
When she was just 22 years old the car Kwankwa was travelling in was involved in an accident on a rainy drive from Cape Town to Bloemfontein.
She was sleeping when the car overturned several times.
She spent four months in the Pelonomi Hospital with a broken hip and pelvis, a broken right leg, and damaged nerves from the shoulder down one arm. She had seven metal screws inserted into her hip.
"The doctors told me my arm would be paralysed because the nervesin my shoulder were damaged," she said.
For a year, Kwankwa says, she could only lie down because she had metal fixtures attached to her legs and pelvis.
Her mother, Noluthando Kwankwa, who cared for her during that time with Nokuthula's sister, said she "felt very sad about what had happened to her daughter".
Doctors wanted to amputate Kwankwa's limp arm, but she refused. After intensive therapy Kwankwa started walking on her own again.
It was then that a lecturer at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology helped her get a bursary to study office management.
She still limped badly and Kwankwa said that life on campus was not easy because the way she walked made her the centre of attraction.
"Some of the students used to laugh at me," Kwankwa said.
But six long years after her accident Kwankwa has graduated with a BTech degree in Human Resource Development.
"After the accident I felt as if it was the end of the world," Kwankwa said.
"What I did not know at the time was that it was the beginning of the story of my life."
She has now registered for master's degree.