Sasolburg is a small town in the Free State. That is where Thabang grew up. During her school holidays, she would visit her aunt in another part of the province. That aunt was a teacher at a school for the blind. There Thabang helped care for those children who stayed at the school in the holidays because their homes were very far away.
And then, when she was a bit older, her neighbour lost his sight and Thabang would help him with things like getting to the shop and writing emails for him. Her aunt saw this on a visit to Sasolburg. She could see that Thabang had the caring and the patience needed to work with blind people. And so, she suggested to her that she might like to become an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Practitioner and train blind people how to get themselves about and do so many other things as well. The remarkable thing is that the aunt knew about O&M training because we, SAMBT, had run training programmes at her school.
And so, Thabang applied for a place on the course that would give her the necessary qualification. But the selections were closed and she was asked to apply again in two years’ time. In the meantime, she did a course in Occupational Safety. But when she applied for jobs they told her that she was too young for the position. So, the following year, she studied electrical engineering. But she didn’t finish that course because she had applied again to get onto the O&M Practitioner course. And this time, she was accepted.
Two years later, Thabang qualified and took up her first appointment. That appointment is here at SAMBT.