South Africa

‘Dwarfism has never limited my abilities,’ says Dimakatso Mathekga

CAPE TOWN: A 28-year-old Johannesburg woman with dwarfism said she did not allow her disability to define nor hamper her from pursuing her dreams.

Dimakatso Mathekga said she learnt to embrace her limitations.

The challenges faced by people with disabilities are in the spotlight as countries across the world observe International Day of Persons with Disabilities and National Disability Rights Awareness Day on 3 November.

Mathekga said she was not her disability and was tired of being sidelined because of it. She said she was often teased and bullied.

"I used to feel sidelined because of my height and it didn’t help that people made fun of me. Eventually, I outgrew that and accepted myself for who I am,” she said.

The 28-year-old did not see dwarfism as a disability and never limited her ability to achieve her goals and encouraged others to do the same.

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“People should not stop chasing their dreams because they were born short. My message to people who have dwarfism is they must never give up. They must never take to heart what other people say about them", she added.

Therina Wentzel du Toit from the National Council for People with Disabilities said like racism and sexism, disablism also exists.

“This is something that works against the human rights and disability rights of people with disabilities,” said du Toit.

Artmotion S.Africa

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