Letlhogonolo Mafela was born without arms and learned to write using his mouth; recently he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics.
Mahikeng, North-West – Letlhogonolo Mafela was born without arms and from a young age, taught himself to write using his mouth. He has walked through life, holding his head high and faced every obstacle with the utmost bravery and determination.
Letlhogonolo was born in the Matshepe Village of Mahikeng. He uses his feet and mouth to write, control a computer and eat. He never let his ability get in the way of his dreams. Working hard in school, Letlhogonolo passed with excellent results and earned himself a bursary to pay for his studies.
At the reward ceremony, Letlhogonolo got to meet the former North West MEC who awarded him with a merit award as well as a laptop to take with when he went on to university.
Now, all these years later and with lots of hard work behind him, Letlhogonolo has graduated from the University of North-West with a Bachelors of Commerce in Economics.
Deputy vice-chancellor for operations, Professor Marilyn Setlalentoa commended Lethlogonolo for all his hard work during his time at the university.
“Letlhogonolo is an inspiration to all of us,” she says. “He is a perfect example of what you can achieve if you believe in yourself. Disability is not inability.”
Letlhogonolo plans to apply the very same determination that has led him to his success, to find a job. He will work just as hard as he always has, thus making him a valuable asset to any company that hires him.
“Ironically, living with disability has never presented a disability in the literal sense for me,” says Letlhogonolo.
“I have been like this my entire life and as such have accepted and learnt to be functional like any able-bodied person.”