Deaf girl hopes for all South Africans to learn sign language

Deaf girl hopes for all South Africans to learn sign language

- 14 year old girl wished that more South African's will learn how to sign

- Pontisho is the only deaf child of the 5 siblings and is living the struggle of not being able to freely communicate

- Despite her disability, she still plays chess, recites poems and wishes to be a charted accountant

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A 14 year old grade nine learner from Filadelfia Secondary School in Moletjie comes from a family of five children and she was the only one who was born deaf.

Pontsho Kgamane goes by the nickname Ponigirl. Her hopes are for more South African’s to learn how to sign.

She has battled in the real world as communicating with others is extremely difficult. One fortunate thing was that her father could speak sign because of his field of work.

“My father is a sign language and deaf interpreter so it came as a blessing that I was fortunate to be born into a family who already knew how to sign.”

Eventhough Ponigirl was fortunate enough to have a parent who was already able to sign before she was born, not all deaf people are so lucky.

“Unfortunately, not many of my deaf friends are as fortunate. I want to use BONUS as a platform to reach out to people and encourage them to learn sign language so they can communicate with deaf people. My entire family signs with me when I am home for the holidays. It warms my heart most when my granny, gogo Mpeki, who is over 60 years old, is able to communicate with me using South African Sign Language (SASL). My spiritual father at church does his best to communicate with the deaf in the church which helps to strengthen my faith in God”

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Ponigirl learnt to sign from a young age. Her mother also made it clear, from a young age, that everyone is unique and has their own form of communication.

She has always enjoyed poetry and has not let her disability limit her from reciting her favorite poems and engaging in other activities that make her happy.

“I am always glued to my cell phone. When I am not at school it is the most effective way to communicate with my friends and family. I don’t take it with me to school as it will interfere with my studies and we have not yet moved to the tablet learning system. I enjoy reading magazines and doing word puzzles or playing mind games such as chess.”

Ponigirl dreams of being a charted accountant after she completes her matric.

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