Disabled graduate`s wish to find a job

MAY 2014
No of Pages: 2
A disabled graduate who received a standing ovation from when he received his national
diploma said all he wanted for his birthday was to find a job. at the Walter Sisulu University
graduation ceremony in Butterworth on Monday 12 May.
Bulelani Kobe, born without legs or arms, uttered these words during the Walter Sisulu
University graduation ceremony in Butterworth on Monday 12 May.
Kobe said has seen his efforts to find employment fail since he finished his studies at the
University last year.
“I’ve taken a step towards the right direction and got my diploma. I just ask people out
there to put faith in me and open their doors when I knock looking for employment. I know
I will be an asset to any company that chooses to hire me,” said Kobe.
Kobe said despite his disability, he wants to ensure potential employers that he’s able to use
a computer and write like any other person.
Kobe’s journey to this particular pinnacle of educational aristocracy has been a road lined
with a myriad of social and academic challenges which would have left a lesser man
After graduating from high school in 2005, Kobe’s efforts to pursue further education were
delayed for four years because of a tertiary system that “shied away from taking the
responsibility of educating a person without limbs”.
“I applied at many tertiary institutions across the country after high school but doors were
all doors were because our institutions didn’t have the appropriate facilities, personnel and
infrastructure to offer quality education to a person of my disability, and that of many others
who’re disabled,” said Kobe.
However, fortunes would change for the now graduate as he was finally accepted to study
at WSU in 2009.
Kobe describes his life at WSU as a bitter-sweet experience. On one hand, the school lacked
the necessary infrastructure and human resource needed to cater for someone of his
disabilities – whilst on the other hand, he met people who were willing to help make his
journey a little bit easier.
“The infrastructure at WSU, as with a lot of Universities in the country, just didn’t have the
necessary resources to cater for people with disabilities. This is an issue that needs to be
prioritised at the top level so that the disabled community gets the best education without
any undue hindrances,” he says.
WSU Spokesperson Angela Church said Kobe’s achievements bear testimony to the values
held by another champion – the University’s alma mater, Tat’ uWalter Sisulu.
“His readiness to fight against all odds in pursuit his dreams speaks volumes of his
character. WSU tips its hat off to him for proving to others that all things are possible
through hard work and dedication,” said Church.
She said the concerns raised by Kobe regarding infrastructure and human resource were
being addressed by the University through the establishment of the Centre for Youth,
Gender and Disability Studies (CYDG), which, since its launch in 2012 has played a
protagonistic role in sensitising the University community about disability issues through
public awareness programmes and research.
“We’ve also managed to solicit funds to the tune of close to R6,5 million to supplement the
shortage in needs regarding teaching and learning equipment, and infrastructure. A lot of
construction is currently being carried out under the Turnaround Strategy to deal with these
issues because we want to be accessible to all students,” said Church.
Kobe said if people are to learn anything from his experience, it’s that there’s no substitute
for hard work – and nothing supersedes self-belief.
“I wouldn’t be where I am had I not known the value of my worth,” concluded Kobe.
Issued by:
Angela Church
WSU spokesperson
Tel 082 371 2948/076 404 9924
[email protected]
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