Blindness opens new worlds for Tafadzwa
The loss of his eyesight five years ago made Tafadzwa Nyamuzihwa (29) from Harare, Zimbabwe “see” that people are limited by their attitudes and not their disabilities. He was not going to let that happen to him. In fact, it became his mission to empower the blind in Africa.
Tafadzwa Nyamuzihwa. Photo: SOS Children´s Villages
Tafadzwa is the founder/director of the Shine On International Trust, a non-profit organisation that trains the blind to use computers, educates them on HIV/AIDS, makes it possible for them to participate in sport and advocates for their rights. He also presents a weekly radio show called Shining Star which inspires communities to rise above their challenges.
“I believe we are all winners one way or the other. Some people are doctors and others are drivers, cleaners or policemen, owing to their different abilities and capabilities. Having gone through tough times and emerging stronger, I am motivated to assist others to realise their potential,” said Tafadzwa, whose blindness is the result of a medical condition called retinal detachment.
Since the Shine On International Trust was founded in 2012 it has, with limited resources, trained 21 blind people in the unaided use of computers. Tafadzwa also regularly receives positive feedback via telephone, Skype, Facebook and e-mail from the estimated three million Zimbabweans who listen to his radio show.
Tafadzwa Nyamuzihwa behind the microphone, presenting his national radio show. Photo: SOS Children´s Villages
He is proud to be an acknowledged motivational speaker in Zimbabwe. And although he lives independently, cooking and doing household chores unaided, he regularly returns to SOS Children’s Village Waterfalls to encourage the children. It was in this SOS Children’s Village where he grew up after police found him alone and crying at a bus terminus at the age of four.
His SOS Children’s Village mother, the late Chipo Zengwa, gave him some of the best advice of his life when she told him SOS Children’s Villages is there to support him, but “all the effort should come from you”.