SA Taxi makes some noise to draw attention to those with hearing disabilities
Imagine what it would be like not to hear a sound – no music, no voices, no laughter. Mphosho Shabangu doesn’t have to imagine it – he lives it every day due to a severe hearing disability.
Mphosho’s family realised that something was wrong when he stopped responding to their voices at the age of about 18 months and showed no further signs of speech development. Shocked and confused, they were initially at a loss to help him. Fortunately, a family member who also had a deaf child suggested certain medical care and education options.
The family had to adapt to this difficult situation, firstly by finding new ways to communicate with Mphosho. Although his family learnt to use sign language, Mphosho was largely isolated from other children and people, and experienced much frustration.
Mphosho was given hearing aids at school, but he had to return these at the end of his school career. A lack of financial resources has kept him in deafening silence since then. His isolation has continued, and many opportunities have been outside his reach. Even free movement is not fully possible for him as he runs the risk of walking in front of approaching cars or injuring himself in the depot where he works as a mechanic for SA Taxi.
Sadly, people have taken advantage of his disability to abuse or steal from him. Because he does not speak, he is unable to assert himself or easily ask for help. His brother Bheki has taken the selfless decision to live with him and keep a watchful eye over his vulnerable brother. Bheki says that even the slightest restoration of hearing would phenomenally change Mphosho’s life. He would be able to engage with people, make friends, stand up for himself and grow his self-esteem. Most touchingly, he would be able to communicate with his grandmother, who cannot use sign language and has never been able to freely communicate with him.
As part of our Making a Difference initiative, we have decided to help one of our own and support Mphosho on his journey towards hearing again. If you would like to help us cover the costs of medical visits, hearing aids and speech classes, please make a donation to the SA Taxi Foundation:
Account Name: SA Taxi Foundation NPC
Account Number: 06 147 0848
Account Type: Business Current Account
Branch Code: 007205
Bank: Standard Bank
Reference: Make Some Noise
If your organisation would like to get involved on a deeper level with our initiative, please contact Nomty Malevu at firstname.lastname@example.org.