Masters Student born without limbs fights for her independence

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Tinyiko Gwambe (25) originally from Tshilamba, a small town in Limpopo was born with no limbs.

From a young age she was determined not to be held back by her disability and saw her challenges as an opportunity to push herself further and to live her life to the fullest as God intended.

“I had to learn early on not play the blame game and accept myself for being born this way. I had to realise that with being disabled, my obstacles would oftentimes be greater than those of able-bodied individuals. So I pushed myself to do more, I found gratitude in exceeding people’s expectations of me and through scripture found the confidence to chase my dreams” – says Tinyiko

In 2015, Tinyiko began studying social work at the University of Pretoria and graduated with a distinction. 

Tinyiko being awarded The Certificate of Membership by the Golden Key International Honour Society for her excellent performance at University.
Tinyiko being awarded The Certificate of Membership by the Golden Key International Honour Society for her excellent performance at University.

Regardless of facing difficulties in securing employment, Tinyiko began taking driving lessons in September 2019 and passed her test in the same month.

Tinyiko with her instructor Desmond Harmse.

She achieved this milestone with the support of the QuadPara Association, her therapist Caroline Rule, her instructor Desmond Harmse and her boyfriend Xolisa Makeleni who supported her throughout her journey.

The only obstacle Tinyiko now faces is mobility. Currently she relies on her sister or boyfriend to make it to lectures as she is busy with her Masters degree in Social Work. When they are unable to assist, she relies on public transport which can be unpredictable and often problematic. 

To raise funds for a specialized vehicle that will be imported from the UK, Tinyiko has set up a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to gain her independence.

“Being a social worker often requires a lot of traveling and field work. To do my job more effectively and even make it to lectures for the time being, I will need to rely on myself. Once this obstacle is overcome, I will be able to utilize my skill set and serve my community to the best of my ability. I really hope the public will support my BackaBuddy campaign” says Tinyiko

Support Tinyiko in purchasing a specialised car by making a donation here:
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