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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Young African man with disabilities defies all odds as he bags masters degree, set to become a Lecturer

A young African man named Lungani Mthethwa with cerebral palsy has defied all odds against his abilities. He bagged masters degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

Lungani was born with cerebrals palsy, a condition which affects muscle tone, movement and motor skills leading to physical disability but he did not let his condition define his academic pursuit.

He obtained his masters degree in Social Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. ” ‘The secret behind my success is praying and working hard. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is not to compare myself to anyone,” Lungani said.

”I encourage students not to let their disability stop them from achieving their goals. Believe in yourself, everything is possible,” he added

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Lungani mentioned that he uses a motor scooter to get around campus, adding that most University venues are difficult to access. He said he hopes that venue access will continue to improve.

For his masters study, Lungani focused on the experiences and challenges of adapting to an inclusive education-learning environment concentrating on the universities students living with disabilities.

‘‘The main aim of this study is to understand the everyday life experiences and challenges students with disabilities face on the Howard College Campus. I used a qualitative approach and design with in-depth face-to-face semi-structured interviews to collect data from 20 participants,” he said.


Lungani’s study demonstrates that certain infrastructure and services at the university remain disability unfriendly and thus the notion of an enabling inclusive environment is problematic.

He expressed his gratitude to his late grandmother, family, friends and his supervisor, Dr Sharmla Rama, for their prayers, motivation and support while in the university. Lungani stated that he plans to earn a PhD and in time become a lecturer.

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