Takudzwa Gore – who is living with disability – has saluted the Women’s University in Africa (WUA) for electing him as the first student with a disability to win the Students Representative Council (SRC) elections.
Gore, who was elected Secretary of Social Welfare, is currently studying for a Diploma in Social work studies at the university and uses a wheel chair for mobility.
“I salute my schoolmates for choosing me as their representative because it shows that they have recognised my efforts despite being a person with disabilities and I promise to represent them at whatever cost.
“They have managed to fulfil the constitutional mandate that persons with disabilities have equal rights that are enjoyed by their able-bodied counterparts.
“The right to be voted for and to be given top positions in the decision making process is part of the empowerment process,” he said.
Gore said he was quite elated to become the first student with a disability to be elected into that position at WUA.
“Since the past decades the position that I am holding was given to persons who are able-bodied therefore I am the lucky one.
“Many children with disabilities are often stigmatised and discriminated against and some parents hide them at home instead of sending them to school hence disempowering them,” he said.
He said Tapiwa Tsikai a Social Entrepreneur, Disability Rights and Inclusion Expert Founder of Thisability Hub, is his source of inspiration.
“I strongly believe that I deserve this position because I love team work and I’m a good coordinator who is passionate about disability issues.
“I will tackle all matters that affect my fellow students at campus,” he said.
Tsikai said due to systems and environmental barriers including stigma and discrimination, people living with disabilities are often excluded from mainstream health, education, legal support, and other social services.
“Recently, the Thisability Hub in collaboration with Vana Trust launched an accessible Vaya Taxi Service – a first-ever highly technological taxi in Zimbabwe that will see many people with disabilities have an improved mode of mobility.”