Disability Analyst and Human Rights Activist advocates for equal treatment and the rights of people living with disabilities.

Born and bred at Dan Village, former homeland of Ritavi in Gazankulu in Tzaneen, Limpopo, about five decades ago, Magic Nkhwashu became the first born son to the late Mzamane Nelson and Khanyisa Maggy Nkhwashu.  He has two brothers, one having recently passed away, and is a father to four lovely boys in what he terms a “joyous celebration”.

Nkhwashu was diagnosed with polio at a young age and triumphed over his disability by becoming a well-known and respected expert in the field of disabilities. He notes that “coming from a disadvantaged background I worked tirelessly to achieve an impressive array of certificates and diplomas from different institutions. I  went on to work for various  companies”, and through his journey, inspired  and  motivated  persons  living with disabilities through  keynote  addresses and workshops on  diversity  and  disability  worldwide.

At about two years old, Nkhwashu recollects how his parents and elders of the community woke up to a shocking discovery when he didn’t come out of his hut he slept in with his grandmother, and was found in a dissipated state and couldn’t move. “This led to unrest with his family who received accusations that their first born son was bewitched,” he said.

Upon endless visits to sangoma’s, Nkhwashu’s mom realised that this was a tiring exercise that did not heal her son. As a last attempt, Nkhwashu’s mom went to a Roman owned clinic nearby the Khujwana village where she was transferred to Letaba Hospital, and her son was diagnosed with polio. Physio therapists rehabilitated him resulting in him being able to walk again. Nonetheless, he had limited use of one hand and a limp when walking. He was later diagnosed with post polio – affecting limbs on the right side of his body and left lower limbs.

“Like other children without transport, I had to walk school. This prompted my parents to apply for my admission at Letaba Boarding School in 1981, a special school for learners with disabilities,” Khwashu said.

Khwashu’s experiences has empowered him to work towards transformation in the workplace for people with disabilities and continues to be passionate  about  the  rights  of  persons  with  disabilities along their  integration  into  the  mainstream  work  environment  and  society.

“I encourage people with disabilities to make a personal connection with the members of their community and further encourage the teaching of life skills, employability and diversity.”

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