When entering campus as a young student with the hope of becoming a graduate one day, the last thing you expect is to lose mobility due to an accident. Two students from the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) who went through this ordeal did not let that deter their dreams of becoming graduates.
During the 2019 Autumn Graduations, wheelchair-bound students Mojela Isaac Vena, and Mbulelo Lee-John Boko, wheeled their chairs onto the stage of the Boet Troskie Hall with pride as they received their qualifications. Vena received his qualification in Baccalaureus Education (FET) Specialisation Technology and Mbulelo Lee-John Boko received his Baccalaureus Education (FET) Specialisation: Natural Sciences.
Vena joined CUT in 2008, but was involved in an accident in 2013 and lost his total mobility. In 2017 he knew he had to try again and finish what he had started. “Coming back for the second time was not easy as I had to face many challenges. Moving around campus was not that difficult as most of the buildings are wheelchair friendly. The only challenge I faced was when elevators were not working. It was frustrating because I could not attend class,” said Vena.
He would not let a few minor challenges get in the way of achieving his dreams. “As a person, you must not let your situation determine your destination or hinder you from achieving your dreams. It is through hard work and perseverance that I managed to pull through. I am happy that I managed to finish and receive my qualification despite what I had to go through,” he added.
Boko came to CUT in 2012 like any other normal student with the hopes of graduating in 2017, however, during his final year he was involved in a car accident that left him wheelchair bound, delaying his studies. “I never lost hope because when I started, I had a goal and a million dreams. Life threw me many curve balls, but through hard work, determination and patience, I made it. Look at me now,” said Boko.
These two graduates are a true testament that disability is not inability. – Seithati Semenokane