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My name is Irene Mashele, a 32 year-old woman born in Bela Bela Limpopo Province’

I was born with a Chronic condition known as Rheumatoid Arthritis resulting in my eyesight been badly affected and developing cataracts which ophthalmologist tried operating on, but they keep on re-appearing.  I then decided to accept myself as I am, because if I don’t, nobody will!

I am the Secretary of the Blind SA Youth Committee and also the Secretary of the Portfolio/Women Gender Based Violence in Blind SA. Being with Blind SA has been a very wonderful experience as I have learned a lot of things within the organization, and for me I take it that it is my second home

It took me 6 years to pass and obtain my Grade 12/Matric because the high school I attended at that time didn’t accommodate learners with who have visual disabilities and so I had to drop out and study from home at my own pace.

Despite my age, giving up has never been an option and  I’m currently studying Management Assistant Public Administration with Oxbridge Academy and all thanks to the members of the organization for the encouragement and motivation.


Certificate of best fun activity [Department of Social Development]

Environmental Practice Skills Programme [SETA]

Social Behaviour Change [Special Olympics South Africa]

Phelophepha Health Care Training [Transnet]

Grade 1 Braille Training [NSF& Blind SA

NQF level 5 Electrical Engineering [Capricorn FET]

I would love to encourage and motivate my fellow women living with disabilities, more especially Blind and visually impaired women across the Globe, that a disability is not an inability, but fighting for what we believe in should be our Motto.


Irene Mashele

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