Laszlo Maya

An incredible young South African established an amazing foundation that is helping those affected by hearing loss, irrespective of their age, degree of deafness and form of communication.


The question, “what has been your greatest life lesson?” may prove challenging for many young people to confidently respond to. But for 24-year-old Laszlo Maya, the answer is clear. For him, it’s “do what makes your soul shine,” because “life is too short to live it under the constraints of other people,” he says.

Maya, who lost his hearing at the age of six, is the chairperson of the Maya Deaf Foundation,a Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young South African and is also completing his final year towards a BCom accounting qualification at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Although Maya Deaf Foundation was only established at the beginning of 2017, it was always the dream of the young boy.

Maya Deaf Foundation (MDF) was founded as a deaf awareness movement that cherishes the dreams of those affected by hearing loss, irrespective of their age, degree of deafness and form of communication. It was established to help bridge the gap between the hearing and the Deaf, by providing a range of social and human development services to those affected by hearing loss in order to allow them to contribute their talents, expertise and capabilities to the betterment of South Africa.

Growing up with a Cochlear implant, Laszlo was able to experience life both deaf and hearing. He noticed that with his hearing aid on life presented certain challenges, but the challenges intensified without the hearing aid on. He felt that society is set up in a way that perfectly accommodates the hearing, and as a result the Deaf cannot enjoy the same benefits.

Together, Laszlo and Ruth started the September #NotDEAFeted campaign to spread deaf awareness and share with the public the plight of those affected by hearing loss. September soon ended, but more needed to be done. It was for this reason Maya Deaf Foundation was established.

“Last year will forever be one of Maya Deaf Foundation’s most important years. With its victories also came its challenges. We are grateful for the lessons learned and every opportunity which allowed us to improve ourselves. We recognize that we could not have come this far without the support of our members, donors, sponsors, and that of the broader community.

Thank you for supporting our cause and helping us reach our objective. We appreciate your support and every word of encouragement.

Together we are well on our way to contributing to a future where Deaf Culture is defined by its potential, and not the inability to hear.”

South Africa is a country that strives for equality amongst its citizens. It is a country that boasts opportunity and promise. The natural ability to hear should not determine which of our country’s citizens get to enjoy the opportunities and share in its promise, and who gets left behind.

The loss of hearing is just that – the loss of the ability to hear, not the loss of the ability to reach for your dreams despite your circumstances and Maya Deaf Foundation’s vision is that the culture and heritage of the deaf and hard of hearing will be recognized in the pursuit of impartiality, equality, liberty and security.

Sources: Maya Deaf Foundation
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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