National Disability Rights Day: Young Lady Breaking Barriers

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03 December marks National Disability Rights Day and we look at an exceptional young woman who did not let her deafness stand between her dream of becoming a barista and providing for her family. Nomcebo Qwabe successfully went through the Youth Employment Service (YES) barista programme at Famous Brands, honing new skills, gaining her confidence, and opening doors to new opportunities.


Nomcebo Qwabe is 25 years old, proudly hailing from the vibrant town of Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal. Despite being born Deaf, she has always believed in the power of determination. Her educational journey led her to Vuleka School for the Deaf, where she successfully completed her Grade 12 in 2017.

Life threw its challenges at her when she lost her beloved mother in 2014. However, her father remains a pillar of strength. Her parents, although hearing, did not know sign language. This circumstance only fuelled her determination to overcome barriers.

She has a passion for several things that bring immense joy to her life - art, fashion design, netball, and the thrill of watching rugby. Additionally, she has a fervour for modelling and actively participates in modelling contests.

The turning point in her journey arrived when she joined the YES barista programme at Famous Brands. It was an exhilarating experience that opened doors to new opportunities. she found herself collaborating with diverse individuals, each offering valuable lessons. she honed new skills and transformed into a better team player.

Qwabe’s self-esteem soared, and she discovered that teamwork is an indispensable tool in the professional world. Today, she stands before you more confident than ever, filled with excitement and pride. This journey has instilled a relentless work ethic and an unwavering determination never to give up.

A message to her fellow youth, “I would like to advise the youth that everything has its own time and we achieve good things at different times. So, if you are unemployed, don’t give up there are big opportunities coming your way.

To those that are on the YES programme, they should always aim for the best in whatever task they are given.

They should never give up, if they fail or make a mistake, it’s part of the learning process.”

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National Disability Rights Awareness Month, which runs from 3rd November to 3rd December, should be recognised and celebrated by all South African businesses says Rajan Naidoo, Managing Director of EduPower Skills Academy. It’s the perfect opportunity for companies to showcase their commitment to inclusivity and diversity, demonstrating how they provide equal opportunities for all their employees, including those with disabilities.


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