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UKZN’s Occupational Therapy Discipline fulfils a dream and RAK nominates others to follow suit

March 19, 2014

Fourth year Occupational Therapy (OT) students from the Westville campus at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) made  a dream come true for a member of the community through RAKnominating (Random Act of Kindness), Mr Daniel Ncgobo.

Ngcobo (30) who grew up in the Valley of 1000 Hills in Durban, was born with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, a medical condition which has limited his movement, making him wheelchair bound. Like many, Ngcobo has dreams and goals of working, getting married, being more independent and most recently let his friends know of another. Skydiving!

His OT friends dedicatedly arranged a fundraising raffle to cover the costs in order to turn his dream into reality. On Saturday, 22 February 2014 at the Eston Skydiving Centre in Durban; Ngcobo quantum dived into the fields below.

Relating his experience, Ngcobo said, ‘Wow! I had a really great day! Good? The experience was better than good! I want to do this every year!’

Since 2006, Ngcobo visited the Occupational Therapy discipline at UKZN to share stories about his own disabilities with students. He explained that, ‘people with disabilities get very little exposure in the media and it is important to raise awareness. Facilities for disabled people are limited as well, so it would be nice if others were more understanding towards people with disabilities. If I can get a therapist to understand a disabled person’s predicament, they will be able to learn and grow and become better therapists.’


One of the fourth year OT students, Domonique De Klerk said, ‘The discipline was inspired by recent turn of events from NEKnominations into RAKnominations (Random Acts of Kindness) and ChangeOneThing on social media, hence we decided to follow suite and make someone’s dream come true.’


‘We told Daniel that this is from us to him for being the most inspirational speaker our class has ever had. He genuinely brings such a different perspective to disability and in turn, will make us all better therapists one day. He deserves it.’


Helga Koch, community module coordinator, expressed that this initiative was great for the OT discipline. ‘It makes them a collective part of something bigger… we are trying to teach our students that they can dream, and dream big – the power of the collective and of being aware of what is happening.  Also, the importance of using different platforms for advocacy and awareness creation of our profession.’


UKZN’s Discipline of Occupational Therapy nominated occupational therapy departments in South Africa and abroad, as well as Red Bull, to now pay this forward and complete their own RAK nomination.


-         Zakia Jeewa

Zakia Jeewa

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