Young woman dreams big despite physical challenges

Thembisile Hleza.

MASHISHING – Against all odds, a young woman with scoliosis, dreams of becoming a beautician.

Thembisile Hleza is an adamant 22-year-old who will leave no stone unturned to achieve her goals.

She was born with this condition and as a result, has a short right arm without a hand, and a short right leg.

Scoliosis is when a person’s spine has a sideway curve. The curve is usually “S” or “C” shaped.

From a young age, Hleza always wanted to be a beautician. “My dream is to own a beauty spa. The sky will be my only limit.

“When I was younger, I always used to put on my mothers make-up and use her beauty products. She always says that if it was not for my condition, I would have been wearing her heels too by now.

According to her, I love everything that is beautiful.

“I use my left hand to do everything and I have a prosthetic right leg. I do not allow my disability to determine my destiny. I know that with hard work and dedication, I can achieve all my goals.

“When I was in primary and high school, I used to participate in sports. I do not believe in limiting myself,” Hleza states.

Over the past years, she tried to raise funds to further her studies. “I went to different institutions to enquire about their courses.”

“However, the prices are more than what I initially anticipated.

“I have four younger siblings and my parents are struggling to make ends meet.My mother is unemployed and my father is self-employed – the sole breadwinner.

I went to numerous banks to apply for a loan but my parents’ situation and the fact that I am also unemployed hindered my applications.”

The young dreamer has managed to find a training school in Lydenburg, but the lack of funds is still a huge stumbling block.

“I love the school because it is close to home. I just need assistance from sponsors to help me raise the money needed,” she says.

If there is anyone who would like to help Hleza, you can contact her on 076-536-6354.


It is an abnormal sideways curve of the spine. The cause is usually unknown. When a person has scoliosis, they have an curve that makes the spine look tilted when viewed from the back.

Uneven leg length, having one leg shorter than the other, causes the hips to tilt.To compensate, the shoulders tend to tilt the other way.(Source of information:Spine-Health and Wikipedia)

Bridget Mpande

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