Meet Lebohang Monyatsi: ‘The Rolling Goddess’ Challenging Disability Stereotypes – Africa’s First Wheelchair Model!

by Duchess Magazine
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Lebohang Monyatsi: 'The Rolling Goddess' Africa's first wheelchair model

What happens when life deals unexpected brutal blows? When the world as we know it, comes crashing right before our very eyes? How does one go on when a blink isn’t enough to draw curtains on an unending nightmare?

Fear. Anxiety. Hopelessness. Depression. Normal phases which come in the narrative. But the question is, what next? The ability to make lemonade of lemons might sound like a sweet scaling track, but reality is, not everyone can.

South Africa’s runway model Lebohang Monyatsi has inspired countless lives with her courage, zeal, positive outlook, determination, and hard work. Although from a distance, limited physically, the strong-willed power woman is pushing boundaries and changing the dictate.

Monyatsi, Africa’s first runway model in a wheelchair clinched the runner-up position at the first-ever Miss World Wheelchair 2017 held in the Polish capital Warsaw where she was crowned First Princess. She also emerged the only finalist in a wheelchair at the Face of the Globe 2017 international beauty pageant. Unstoppable, she possesses basketball skills and represented her country in Wheelchair Basketball between 2008 and 2015 and is a recipient of the Extra Ordinary Champion award at the 2017 South African Youth Awards.

“I have always loved modelling from a young age but I couldn’t pursue it because of lack of opportunities for people with disabilities. As we all know that media impact on society and there’s no one who looks like me in the media industry to serve as an inspiration to those who live with disabilities. I decided to embark on this journey so I can be a role model to everyone who thought it is not possible.”

Born in Vryburg, South Africa, and raised by her grandmother, at just three years old, she was diagnosed with Polio Mailaitis and had to depend on a wheelchair which affected the start of her education,  She spent most of her life in boarding school at Gelukspan but her strong spirit keeps shining through.

Ever passionate about disability inclusion, she aims to inspire others with disabilities to chase after their dreams with rugged determination in spite of the limitation.

Lebohang Monyatsi is a Social Psychology graduate and currently studying Communication Sciences.

No coincidence, Monyatsi has loved the fashion world right from childhood and had always wanted to model but was limited following of lack of opportunities for people with disabilities.

Today she’s passionately paving the way for others and pours her power into empowerment programs educating her local communities about disability.

Lebohang Monyatsi has modeled at Soweto Fashion Week, Maboneng Fashion week, and GeeJunction Fashion show.


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