Born without limbs but not disabled!
Jemina, one of eleven siblings, was born in the midst of the Apartheid regime in 1976 and raised in extremely poor socio-economic circumstances. She was born with a birth defect, leaving her without legs. As the old education system didn't allow non and disabled children to be mixed or to attend the same schools, Jemina was referred to a special school far from home. This was alsonot a big issue for her parents as raising a disabled child was not easy.
As if Jemina’s misfortune was not enough to discourage and pull her down, her family prognosiswould definitely have supressed her – of ten siblings, two died of AIDS related deceases andmost of the others are unemployed. Being a black disabled female could have been the perfectexcuse for Jemina to take up a victim role and demand that life owed her something for the baddeal that it dealt her, but Jemina retaliated. She realised that she had one power tool, namely achoice. She chose to be in control, to dream dreams for her future, work hard and accomplishgoals and to never give up. She chose to walk the painful journey and to overcome the change ofa disabled mindset.
At the age of 18, Jemina was introduced to an A2B Entrepreneurial Program, where she receivedthe encouragement she never had – the one thing that money couldn’t buy. Of course, at times itwas really hard for her not to get discouraged, but she persevered whenever she wanted to giveup. When Jemina found it hard to believe in herself, the A2B provocateurs did it for her.
Today in her forties, Jemina is the proud owner of her own house and two of her own businesseswhich creates several job opportunities. She has three lovely children which she raised to have amindset to overcome the ‘poverty mentality’. She is an activist for people living with disabilities.Giving back to her community is one of her biggest drives, and as such she plays a role onvarious NGO and NPO boards, supports community kids with after- school activities, and writesshort stories of change for people to cherish. She is also currently running a program to enhanceawareness of Responsive Parenting.
Jemina made a 180 degree turn – the pain of her past, now only memories, are told astestimonies to encourage others. The miracle for Jemina didn’t come in growing legs, but ingrowing in her will to act. Through hard work she developed the internal driver that mobilized herinto action, by her own accord, and made her a master of her own destiny… more than what amillion-dependent people with legs have.
On 5 August 2018, in the annual SABAT Power Wheelchair Race, Jemina won the title of ‘fastestquad on the block’, where 21 quadriplegic power wheelchair users were hosted by AUTO-X.Since 2018, Jemina has also been participating in the Wings of Life, World Run Marathon.Jemina has a love for adventure and ‘out-of-comfort’ experiences; which forms the basis of theA2B methodology and the growth of neural pathways in the brain.
In November 2019, Jemina will take an adventure leap and go down a 3.2 km mountain zipline,travelling at speeds of more than 170 km/h in a superman style with a suit and harnessspecifically made for her. Her braveness and drive for awareness of one’s own volition is avaluable lesson for all, and definitely an event to be shared with Global Changemakers fromacross the world.