By Nontobeko Simelane
Disabled people come in many shapes and sizes and experience their disabilities differently to each others, regardless of possibly having the same medical diagnosis.
But Thabiso Molopo (27) has never let the accident that led him to losing both his legs discourage him from living his dreams, and reaching his goals.
The young talented and ambitious man from Vlaklaagte No2, between KwaMhlanga and Kwaggafontein in Thembisile Hani Local Municipality has made a name for himself as a qualified journalist and motivational speaker.
He has taken accolades a step further recently when he made his debut as an actor on e.tv drama, Z’bondiwe.
The beginning of Thabiso’s disabled life happened when he was only eight years old, when a speeding car hit him, crushing both his legs.
“We were playing in the neighbour’s yard with my brothers and friends when the car came crashing through the fence. Unfortunately I was the only one who sustained serious injuries that resulted in my life being transformed,” he recalls.
When his legs were amputated, doctors did not inform Thabiso’s parents immediately. “They had no choice but to cut them off because the wounds were too infectious so I am told.”
“I had to drop out of school in Grade 3 because the school could not meet the resources that I needed in order for me to be schooling there. I therefore had to go to a private school”.
Using his prostheses for the first time was not easy as he had to support his movement using crutches. But due to his medical complications, Thabiso had no other choice but to use a wheelchair for approximately a year.
Travelling along a gravel road to school in a wheelchair was unbearable for him but he had his best friend who was there for him.
“My mother insisted I would not go to a special school for disabled because she did not want me to feel sorry of myself”, he said.
Knowing Thabiso now, one may not even be aware that he walks on prosthetics as he has mastered their use, and walks like any other person. But learning to walk using prosthetics was not easy. He actually fell several times and ending embarrassing himself in public.
It killed his confidence and he would find a place to hide and cry his lungs out.
“I wouldn’t take a joke more especially if it is related with my legs”.
He enrolled at PRIDA (Paul Rapetsoa Institute of Dramatic Arts) in Siyabuswa, for drama classes and received a certificate in performing arts. He later moved on to Pretoria to study journalism at Varsity College and joined a drama group at the State Theatre.
Thabiso has been featured in several television shows, magazines and newspapers. He now motivates abled and disabled people to do better in life. And his acting career has since taken off by being featured in Z’bondiwe, Richest Yard and was also featured in Infidel. He’s a co-author of the book “Understanding Your Challenges”.
“I now understand that all that happened was a blessing in disguise. Losing my legs gave me a chance to look at my life differently and find opportunities to get a better life for me and my family,” he concludes.