Broken wheelchair keeps beauty from living her dream

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Diratsagae being crowned as Miss Free State Disability

The handicapped 25-year-old Nthabiseng Diratsagae, resident of the Jean Webber house, has had to get along in a wheelchair that does not work to its full capacity for months now. She was honoured with the Miss Free State Disability title last year September but because she cannot move around with the wheelchair, she has been unable to fulfill her duties regarding charity work or even appearances.

Being the driven person that she is, Diratsagae wants to move around more and be able to work instead of being confined to her bedroom at the home for people with disabilities. Her current wheelchair needs constant charging and the battery does not last long. This, together with her being unable to use her right hand for a manual wheelchair, makes the need for an automated chair even more crucial.

Diratsagae was the only contestant at the Miss Free State Disability pageant who could not walk and is dependent on wheelchair, yet she won the competition. She told Bloemfontein Courant, “I want to do more, I want to study, fulfill my charity duties and help more within the community, despite my disability. I am certain I possess more potential than just having to sit in a room and interacting on social media. I am more than just my disability; my brain still functions 100%.”

Diratsagae was a second year student at Glen Agricultural College before she fell and became disabled three years ago. She has applied for a course in psychology at the University of the Free State, but her application was denied for unknown reasons. She now wishes to have an office job where she can make a living without the extra physical work required. She said she can still type and use a computer with her left hand and is fully capable of obtaining a degree.

Her greatest wish is getting help regarding her wheelchair. She wishes to get sponsors for her wheelchair, and says even if someone is willing to fix the battery, it would make a huge difference. The cushion and footrest of the wheelchair are very uncomfortable and imbalanced. She wants to live a better life, regardless of her circumstances, hence, she is pleading with the community of Bloemfontein to donate in any way possible for her to achieve her goals. She says, whether it is to help fix the wheelchair or donate money for a new one, all help would be highly appreciated. Bursaries to complete her studies would also be of great help. For more information on how to donate or help in any way, contact Miranda Kruger (APD Operational Manager) at 051-430-2883/082-455-0707/083-419-0367 or send an e-mail to: operations@apdfs.co.za.

Heidre Malgas
heidre@mahareng.co.za