“Love yourself, respect yourself, value yourself and know your rights”.

Madaka was born on the 3rd of April 1958 in Ngwenyama location, currently under Nywara administration. His parents who never attended school, lived on a farm. “We were six children with only one sister who was the youngest,” said Madaka

He did my primary education at Norwood J. S. S. and went to Ngwenze S.S.S. to complete my junior certificate in 1974.

“My parents were unable to afford to further my education owing to their poor background,” he recalled.

As if that was not enough, he was infected by the spinal Tuberculosis which left his lower limbs paralysed. “When the late Dr. Luswazi of Bedford Hospital told me that I will not be able to walk again because of Spinal Tuberculosis, it was not easy to accept the news but their counselling helped me to come to terms with my condition of being disabled,” said Madaka.

“I motivated myself to accept my condition. “UThixo akamniki umntu umthwalo ongamlinganiyo.” God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Madaka said.

At school children called him “hunchback man” but he rose above all their scorn. He met a woman who would become his wife on the dusty streets of Indaba Zosindiso Church in Tsolo.

“She accepted me as I am. My father paid two cows as lobola with the hope that I will pay full lobola as soon as I land a job. We got married and I tried looking for a job.” Madaka said.

His wife sold empty bottles to put food on the table while Madama was selling photos of “Mama Wosindiso” during isikhumbuzo on the 14th May of each year.

He said: “On the 7th September 1981, I was employed by the Transkei government as a switchboard operator. That was where I displayed my skills to an extent that on the 1st October 1997 was promoted to the rank of Hr Practitioner.”

“People of Siphethu Hospital were supportive to me at work and outside of work. I was using crutches, but Dr. Machado recommended that I use a wheelchair so that it can be easy for my working environment. My wife was called from Tsolo to be next to me, and we were accommodated inside the hospital premises. She was also offered a job as a General Worker and was later promoted to the rank of Senior Porter.”

Then in 2008 he bought his fourth car (a VW Jetta) and spent R35 000 on his new wheelchair.

Madaka is currently a pensioner and have started a farming project. His livestock has increased as he has time for it now. In 2013, Madaka decided to rebuild his home and upgraded it to a 13-rooms family house which includes his own en-suite. His gate is controlled by a remote controller.

“There is a misconception that people with disabilities cannot fall in love. Luckily, my wife and I were blessed with two children.

Due to discrimination, stigma, stereotypes or myths people believe that when you are on a wheelchair you cannot have a stable relationship or have children. During the birth of my son there were many assumptions that he is not my own blood and that my wife had cheated on me,” said Madaka.

“As my son is very light in complexion that created quite a stir. This made me to request my father to come and see my son so that he can confirm that he is mine”

With everything that has been happening in his life Madaka and his wife have managed to educate his children. His first born has a B Tech qualification, married with 2 kids and has a house in Bloemfontein. While his last born has managed to pass matric and enrolled at the University of Johannesburg, but unfortunately, he dropped out.

His message is to encourage parents who have children with disabilities to take their children to school. “They must accept their children the way they are, and they must not be ashamed of their children.” Madaka said.

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