School of Social Sciences

PhD student publishes autobiography about living with a disability

Ms Gugu Mjilo and her book
Ms Gugu Mjilo and her book

PhD student in Political Sciences Ms Gugu Mjilo has penned an autobiography about living with a disability called Akulahlwa Mbeleko Ngakufelwa, that is derived from a Zulu proverb about hope and second chances.

Mjilo, who is wheelchair-bound, details how she lives with a disability, the challenges she deals with and overcoming them. The book also depicts how her mother managed to raise her as a disabled child, often with difficulty but with immense love. It ultimately paints a picture of the lives of people with disabilities, especially in rural areas.

She considers her book as a teaching tool about disability while also giving hope to others with disabilities. ‘Despite having a disability, I have been able to attain most of the things that people thought are only meant for able-bodied people. Everything is possible if you put your mind to it and if you challenge yourself to do more than what is expected of you, especially for someone with a disability,’ she said.

Mjilo’s PhD focuses on the challenges faced by children with disabilities, particularly how they access education from basic to tertiary level.

The book is available at R150 from all major book retailers. Mjilo also couriers copies and orders can be placed directly with her via email

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