Christina: Beacon of hope

Christina takes time to pose for the camera as she reads.   Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso

Christina takes time to pose for the camera as she reads.
Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso

Christina Mlambo is a partially blind student who is hard of hearing in her left ear. She refuses to be defined or confined by her disability. She recalls how in primary school, she was taught that “you are not going to get noticed because of your disability, but by how great you are”.

“To prove that greatness is possible to achieve even for an average person”

She matriculated last year, with four distinctions in Economics, Life Sciences, Business Studies and Afrikaans. In a series of two events, Mlambo was invited to attend a celebratory breakfast at Vodaworld, where she mingled with prominent people such as the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga. She was also invited to attend the matric awards ceremony, broadcast live on SABC, which she describes as one of the greatest moments in her life. Along with two other students from different schools, she was awarded a position in one of the Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN) category, known as the“Against All Odds” category. Mlambo also obtained second position in the provincial awards. She also received a call from the MetroFm DJ, T’Bo Touch where he congratulated her on air and offered to help with finding a bursar.

Mlambo is currently doing her first year in BCom Law and when Wits Vuvuzela asked her how she’s coping in her new environment she said: “I won’t lie, it has been rather difficult, especially because there’s many of us [students] in a lecture so one cannot always get individual attention when in need.”

She said at her previous school, Prinshof School for the Visually Impaired there were 14 students in a class and the pace was slower. She regularly attends meetings at the Counselling and Careers Development Unit (CCDU) on campus which helps her with managing time and coping with school work.

In her school bag there is usually a law textbook, a recorder which she uses in class to capture lectures and a portable magnifier which she uses to enlarge course notes she cannot see properly. She said the Disability Unit is very supportive and provided her with the portable magnifier.

When she is not doing her school work, Mlambo reads novels and says her favourite author is Nora Roberts. She also plays the piano and occasionally writes poetry. She said she wants to be “a beacon of hope” in her family and community. “To prove that greatness is possible to achieve even for an average person ”.