When Judas Mudala turned blind from glaucoma as a teenager he believed his dreams of becoming a teacher were shattered.
However, through hard work and dedication, Mudala went on to obtain a teaching degree with 15 distinctions over four years of his course.
Mudala from Luphisi village outside Hazyview, Mpumalanga, had to leave school aged 16 due to having to regularly visit doctors. He then decided that he wanted to be a DJ.
“I was 16 doing grade 12 in March 1998 when my eyes started being painful and burning and I had to be admitted to hospital,” he said.
Mudala said he thought his dreams in education were over and he tried his luck in a music career.
“I became a DJ for locals as blind as I was. I kept on going to the government complex looking for gigs from [various] departments until I met officials from the department of education who encouraged me to study and they promised to fund my education,” he said.
He finished his grade 12 in 2013 and was enrolled at the University of Free State the following year.
“When I got to the university at first it was hard because I’m not familiar with Braille but I had a voice application which helped me.”
He hit the ground running and achieved high marks and even distinctions.
“I’m proud that now I’m a qualified teacher with a degree which I’m going to use transferring my skills to young people,” Mudala said.
Head of the Mpumalanga department of education Mahlasedi Mhlabane said they were pleased to have worked with Mudala.
“Judas is an inspiration to us that despite any challenges or disability one can rise to the occasion and be a contributory factor to societal change. Now we are proud to announce a qualified teacher whose dream nearly shattered if it was not nurtured.”
She said the department was finalising Mudala’s placement to a school in the province.
“When schools open Mudala will be having a school where he’s going to teach. We are finalising his placement. As we have about 140 inclusive schools in the province, Mudala with his skills and ability can teach in any school.”
Mudala encouraged young people with disabilities to go out and chase their dreams.
“Being disabled doesn’t limit a person from being a game changer. All we need is support from our families and not hide us in houses depriving us of the world with possibilities which we can choose from on what we want to do in life.”