VICTORY OVER ADVERSITY KGWALE’S JOURNEY OF RESILIENCE

Kgwale's journey is a testament to the power of resilience and determination. Despite facing immense challenges, he refused to let his circumstances define him. Instead, he seeks out opportunities for growth and development, leveraging the resources provided by facilities like Itireleng.
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By Tshepo Motholo

  • Kagiso Kgwale, 37, from Alexandra faced significant challenges, losing his parents and becoming disabled after a mugging in 2013.
  • Finding hope at Itireleng Residence Care Facility, run by Gauteng’s Department of Social Development, Kgwale pursued further education and now works as a switchboard operator.
  • His journey showcases resilience, inspiring others to seek opportunities and overcome adversity with determination and a positive mindset.

37- years- old, Kagiso Kgwale from Alexandra, North of Johannesburg, has experienced more challenges than most. Losing his parents at a young age, despite the hardships, life seemed normal, and Kgwale was pursuing his dreams as a second-year student in a prestigious Technical and Vocational Education and Training College in Johannesburg, studying Information Technology.

In October 2013 tragedy struck when Kgwale was mugged and badly assaulted by criminals, resulting in a disability that altered the course of his life. After the incident, Kgwale relied on his aunt for care until her death, and with no immediate family to look after him, he moved in with his sister and husband, who due to work commitments, could not provide the necessary assistance. This led to Kgwale being taken to Zanele Mbeki Frail Care Centre, which was unsuitable for his age and condition. He was redirected to Itireleng Residence Care Facility which was an institution that was capable of taking care of his needs. 

“I was in denial of the fact that I will never walk again,” recalls Kgwale, reflecting on the aftermath of a life-altering accident.

However, a glimmer of hope emerged in the form of Itireleng Residence Care Facility for the Disable,  one of the institutions run by the Gauteng Department of Social Development. Kgwale found the support and encouragement he needed to come to terms with his situation. The dedicated Social Workers at Itireleng helped him rebuild his self-esteem and embrace his new reality.

“This facility gave me a platform to study further,” shares Kgwale with a sense of pride. “As we speak, I am a qualified Project Manager, and I have obtained my qualification in Social Auxiliary Work. Due to my computer literacy, I am now employed as a switchboard operator.”

Kgwale’s journey is a testament to the power of resilience and determination. Despite facing immense challenges, he refused to let his circumstances define him. Instead, he seeks out opportunities for growth and development, leveraging the resources provided by facilities like Itireleng.

To his fellow disabled brothers and sisters, Kgwale offers words of encouragement: “Your situation is not the end of the world. Research for places like Itereleng and use them to gain skills.”

Kgwale’s story serves as an inspiration to all, reminding us that with perseverance and support, anything is possible. As he continues to thrive in his career and personal life, Kgwale embodies the spirit of resilience, proving that adversity can be overcome with determination and a positive mindset.

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