I have a dream … that one day on the vlaktes (plains) of South Africa,
People who’ve acquired disabilities through natural circumstances or in accidents
will be able to see their future in the meaning they
attach to their new situation … which is largely based on the way they see the world, and
in the opportunities society gives them to progress.
I have a dream that these people will be judged solely on the contents of their character
And not on the label that’s been put on them the moment they acquired their disability.
I have a dream today.
This piece is unashamedly based on the profound words of Martin Luther-King in 1963 but in relation to people living with disability in South Africa today and the challenges they continue to face. This is part of my effort to raise awareness on their behalf.
I was involved in a severe motorbike accident in my matric-year (1986) that left me in a coma for 7-months. F.y.i. any coma that lasts longer than an hour is classified as “serious”. Since then, I’ve achieved my matric (albeit over 4 years), University degrees (x4) in the Humanities, released a motivational CD “5%” (because that’s the chance I was given to survive the first night I spent in ICU) and I have been delivering inspirational speeches since 2004 because I know that anybody can do anything “…if they can give it some meaning” – Dr^56 Viktor Frankl. I’m sure that Madiba also falls into this category. I’m also sure that if ‘new victims ‘knew more’ of other living people who’ve done amazing things … they might be inspired to their own amazing thing in their own life. Then we’d live in a world worth living in!
A Hatfield youth, Derick Brumer (17) of Church street, was seriously injured when his motorcycle collided with a taxi at the corner of Church and Thompson streets at about 3.40 PM He was admitted to the H.F. Verwoerd Hospital and his condition is said to be critical. (Pretoria News, 6 February 1986)
Dr Goldblum gave me M Gladwell’s book: “Tipping point”. In it he talks about a “MAVEN” – that describes me perfectly (modestly said). It is a word that describes a person who wants to share what he knows … which, for a person living with a Cognitive Communication Disorder (a condition that’s similar to aphasia) – the only difference is that it comes from a Traumatic Brain Injury as opposed to a stroke which is classified as an Acquired Brain Injury … is trying. To complicate matters even further: a TBI is also classified as an ABI because it was suffered by a person after their birth.