Blind Woman Walks Across the Wits Great Hall Stage to Accept Her PhD After Being Told She Never Would

Blind Woman Walks Across the Wits Great Hall Stage to Accept Her PhD After Being Told She Never Would

  • A blind woman took to social media to share the heartwarming and inspiring story of how she accomplished her PhD
  • Dr Sisanda Msekele lost her sight in matric and was told she would never achieve the things she had set her mind to
  • People were taken aback by the lady’s story and thanked her in the comment section for sharing it as they congratulated her

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Living in a world where most people see people with disabilities as a hindrance, this woman made sure she was going to prove society wrong. Walking across the Wits Great Hall stage to accept her PhD, the blind woman beamed for all those with disabilities who were told they couldn’t.

Blind, woman, graduation, Wits
Dr Sisanda Msekele is a blind woman who did not let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals. Image: Twitter / @Sea_sanda_M
Source: Twitter

Often society is not accepting or accommodating of individuals with disabilities. This lady lived through that reality but did not let it define what she knew she was actually capable of.

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Dr Sisanda Msekele, who goes by the Twitter handle @Sea_sanda_M, lost her sight in matric but refused to let it hold her back from achieving her goals. Completing her PhD was something she did not only for herself but for all those out there living with disabilities who do not believe they are capable.

What an inspiration! Sisanda posted:

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“It cannot be a coincidence that I finally crossed the Great Hall stage of Wits during Disability Pride month! When I became blind in matric, my world was shuttered because I grew up in society that dooms disabled people. However, I stubbornly dared to go after my biggest dream!”

Briefly News had the pleasure of speaking to the graduate and understanding how her disability has inspired her to help others in her position thrive.

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Sisanda chose a career path in the Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field as she feels there needs to be more African female representation.

"I have found older African women as well as men in STEM but there is a gap specifically in young African females pursuing STEM careers. This comes down to societal and cultural pressures that young African women are faced with such as being expected to marry at a certain age or be pressured to have children.
"All these factors can be barriers for African women to pursue or complete their academic studies because STEM careers/research can be vigorous and requires a significant amount of dedication and hard work to excel. Being 25 and pursuing a STEM career I see these barriers where it is challenging sometimes as you have your own views and opinions and trying to make your mark but your voice is not loud enough because you are female, black and young.

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"Besides these barriers, being in a position where I am now this provides me with the opportunity to challenge those societal and cultural stereotypes and lay the platform for other young female Africans who want to be in STEM."

People wipe tears of pride from their eyes before taking to the comment section

These are the stories society needs to read more of. Sisanda’s unwavering belief in herself had many flooding the comment section, commending her on her strength, dedication and courage.

Take a look at some of the heartwarming comments:

@KarinShave said:

“Oh wow! What an incredible, inspiring and determined person you are - may you continue to go from strength to strength, achievement to achievement.”

@coach_57926 said:

“Heartily congratulations to you. I know just how challenging it is to be a blind academic. We take pride in having members like you in our marginalised society.”

@BonganiMaqabuka said:

“Congratulations Dr, well done on this great achievement. It takes faith and courage to reach the level you have reached, not to mention the disability you have!”

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@FaithMasilela2 said:

Stunning DUT graduate has people of Mzansi catching the feels over her inspiring graduation celebrations

In related news, Briefly News reported that a stunning Mzansi chef celebrated her impressive graduation from the Durban University of Technology. Lungile Nhlanhla was overflowing with pride on her graduation day, and rightfully so.

Being able to graduate from an institution with a tertiary qualification is a huge achievement. Knowing what went into making this day possible, the good sis was beaming.

Taking to Instagram, Lungile shared some stunning pictures from graduation and her celebrations. She graduated from DUT with an Advanced Diploma in Consumer Science of Food and Nutrition, adding to her levels as a personal chef.

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Source: Briefly News

Denika Herbst avatar

Denika Herbst (Editor) Denika Herbst is a Human Interest writer at Briefly News. She is also an Industrial Sociologist with a master's degree in Industrial Organisational and Labour Studies from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, which she completed in 2020. She is now a PhD candidate at UKZN. Denika has over five years of experience writing for Briefly News (joined in 2018), and a short time writing for The South African. You can reach her via: