Here’s a woman who has proved that no physical disability can hinder you from fulfilling your purpose, a woman who is living proof that attitude is everything and that you can achieve anything with the right mind-set, determination and focus. Calling her disabled wouldn’t quite fit the description, considering the fact that she’s able to do everything with just one hand, things that some of us with two hands cannot do in our lifetime. If you don’t know her yet, be on the look-out. She’s about to take the world by storm. Let me introduce to you, Itumeleng Sekhu.
While studying for her BA in Audiovisual Communications, she worked as an intern at the ONE Gospel channel and South Africa’s biggest game show, Friends Like These. In that same year, she worked as a content producer on one of SA’s leading radio stations, Metro FM.
Nunn: For those who don’t know yet, tell us who Itumeleng Sekhu is? Take us through your background…
Itumeleng was born in Pretoria. She is an ambitious dreamer who wants to change and leave an impact wherever she sets foot. She is the daughter of the Most High God and her solemn purpose is to bring hope and healing to people through her testimony of when she got burnt when she was 11 months old from a candle while she was sleeping and that amputated her right hand, four fingers on her left hand and her face is scarred.
Tell us how it was like growing up? How did you handle people’s misconceptions about living with a disability?
I don’t have a disability because I am able to do everything I put my mind to. Secondly a woman with such a great purpose shouldn’t be categorised and for that reason i’ve always been living in my own cocoon scared to come out for people to see. However when I learned that my purpose was so great, it became easier to be myself and not care about what people have to say about how I look. People will always have something to say so I’ve made up my mind a long time ago to worry about my own lane.
You’re also a Dove SA Ambassador, how has the experience been?
As a Dove Ambassador, I travel across hundreds of schools in both Gauteng and KZN to motivate young girls on self-esteem and purpose. It has been both scary and thrilling in that when I started I thought I had it covered until you hear what girls in our society goes through. It’s scary and I had to learn how to put myself in other people’s shoes and guide and mentor from that perspective.
What drives you?
My purpose drives me. There are millions and millions of people living hopeless lives and giving healing and a new hope to those people selfishly excites me and that puts a smile on my face and makes me wake up each morning.
What advice would you give to young disabled men and women who are too scared to reach for their dreams because of what society has told them?
We were all born to complete a purpose or an assignment on earth. There is no such thing as a disability. People live with a lot of excuses and feel entitled to things. It does not work like that in the real world. No one owes you anything. Get up and keep on going. There’s a saying it’s not how many times you fall but how many times you get up and keep on walking.
Itumeleng has now left everything to finish writing her book, a memoir on what happened when she was 11 months old and how she grew up with a low self-esteem to becoming the confident young woman that she is today. We salute you Itumeleng for using your story to bring hope to the lives of many.