GETTING a driver’s licence is a not regarded as much of an achievement, but not for Lorraine resident Nobesuthu Kama, a shy 28-year-old NMMU law graduate.
Kama, who currently works at the department of labour as a clerk, was dealt a heavy blow when she was just 10 and growing up in Mthatha.
While playing at her friend’s house she was caught in the crossfire of a taxi war. Kama was lucky to be alive, but a spinal injury left her wheelchair bound for the rest of her life.
“It was quite an adjustment. I found comfort in books and used to send my mom to the library and to find secondhand books almost every day,” laughed Kama.
It was because of lack of high schools for paraplegics in Mthatha that Kama settled in Port Elizabeth and matriculated at the age of 16.
“I think it was all the books I was reading,” she joked.
In 2004 a bad bout of pneumonia saw her travel to Pretoria to be with her mother when tragedy struck again – she was badly injured in an accident and spent a long time in a Bloemfontein hospital.
“But I managed to put that all behind me and graduated with a law degree. I had some stumbling blocks there as well because without being mobile [having a car] and being a paraplegic, I suppose I was not the best candidate to complete my articles at a law firm.”
Kama said having her own wheels was liberating and she could now drive herself to visit friends and even her mom who was still in Pretoria.
“Anything is possible and you can achieve your dreams even if you are a paraplegic.”
Kama’s story has been broadcast through LoveLife’s Nkanjani campaign which encourages young people to achieve their dreams no matter what.
She is also heavily involved in the Quadriplegic Association of the Eastern Cape which operates out of a house in Newton Park.
“It took years for me to embrace my new way of life and I would have like to have a support system like the Quad house.”