Visually impaired graduate set to launch a career in photography

19 April 2016 - 18:24
By Sipho Masombuka
Hand reading braille - Stock image
Hand reading braille - Stock image

Visually impaired Donovan Botha has done the unthinkable and proved correct the phrase “against all odds” by completing a National Diploma in Photography.

The 22-year-old is among 9‚683 students that will graduate from the Tshwane University of Technology’s autumn graduation ceremony on May 10.

Botha is the first ever visually impaired student to be enrolled at the institution’s Department of Visual Communication.

Spokesperson Willa De Ruyter said the words “I cannot” did not form part of Botha’s vocabulary.

She said Botha was born two months prematurely which affected his retinas.

 A thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye on the inside‚ the role of the retina is to receive light that the lens has focused and convert this light into neural signals which are then sent to the brain for visual recognition.

“He has had several eye surgeries and currently has 50% sight in his right eye and only 25% in the left eye‚” De Ruyter said.

She said after completing Grade 12 at Prinshof School for the Visually Impaired‚ Botha was adamant that he wanted to study photography.

This interest was sparked by an old film camera he found in his parents’ house many years ago.

“He was over the moon when he was accepted at TUT to follow his dream‚” she said.