No arms and legs fail to deter disabled graduate

BY SUPPLIED - MAY 18, 2015

It’s been little over a year since Bulelani Kobe, born without legs or arms, was lauded by an inspired audience for his academic achievements during WSU’s May graduation ceremony in Butterworth.

The 31-year-old Office Management and Technology wheelchair bound graduate received a memorable reception as he wheeled his way across the stage, to a standing ovation, in pursuit of his due honours.

This extraordinary feat caught the attentions of many, including the Department of Social Development, who heard his much-publicised call for employment.

The department heeded the call and offered Kobe employment at its Butterworth office. After signing a contract, he officially started work in the department’s Human Resource department in July last year.

“This has been the most extraordinary journey and has restored my faith in the goodness of humanity. After the countless struggles I’ve had to contend with as a person with severe disabilities, seeing people pulling together to support me has filled me with the greatest joy,” says Kobe.

He says his transition from unemployed graduate to office professional has been seamless thanks to the acquisition of skill and knowledge from his time at WSU.

“WSU gave me a chance by accepting me as a student – something many of the other institutions failed to do mainly because, I presume, they weren’t ready to accept someone of my disability. Today I’m a proud WSU product that has been equipped with the sharpest tools for the industry,” says Kobe.

Kobe’s adaptability in confronting any situation put before him has been the foundation through which he’s been able to defy the odds.

Thanks to this, he has taught himself to write, type, file documents, use a phone, and many other capabilities essential for any office professional.

 “I’ve done more with my disabilities than a lot of able-bodied people have. This I hope will inspire people of all dispositions to always dig deep in searching for their greatest potential,” he says.

Kobe says he intends to go back to school one day in pursuit of a qualification in sports management.

“Sport is where my passion lies. One day I aim to work in the sporting environment – dreams are possible as I’ve come to realise,” he concludes.