SuperSHEro: Nonhlanhla Ntuli
Today the superSHEro spotlight lands on someone who defines the very essence of being unstoppable, an epic illustration & reminder that yes life happens YET it’s important to soldier on. This is someone who, as Kabomo once said, paddles her own boat to the shore instead of waiting for the waves to lead her there and paints her compelling story the best way she knows how.
Nonhlanhla Ntuli also known as Adoword (21) is a TV personality, a psychology student, motivational speaker as well as Founder and MD of AdoWord Motivation and Life Coaching Projects. She uses this to vehicle her passion about the youth, hence, she consistently visits schools and organizations to motivate and encourage the youth to be limitless in success and relentlessly work towards achieving their own dreams.
She uses her inspirational life story and achievements alike as the core of it all to motivate individuals, small and large groups. She is also an activist for people living with disabilities (as she is a paraplegic herself) and takes it upon herself to educate others about challenges facing those living with disabilities, not forgetting demystifying all the unfounded stigmas attached. What makes her a great role model is that though she is a paraplegic, she refuses to let her disability define her. Nonhlanhla takes all her achievements and responsibilities thus far as a mere foundation for the greatness that’s to come.
When I asked her to send me her pic she said:
“By the way Hastings…just so that you know, the idea with these couple of pics is that, I am not my chair. If you check, the chair is there but it’s in the background. I am the main focus of the pic, not the chair. That’s how people should see me. Not the chair first THEN me.”
AdoWord currently co-presents the Matrics Uploaded on SABC, an edutainment show for matriculants that covers the matric curriculum throughout the year. Prior to joining Matrics Uploaded, she presented Membaz Only on SABC 3, a youth talk show that addressed both the serious and not so serious issues that affect the youth.
J.K. Rowling had AdoWord in mind with the word: “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life”.
In 2002 Nonhlanhla was involved in a car accident that turned her young life around. While in hospital recovering, she fixated her energy towards getting out of the facility and continuing with her normal life. But little did she know what change awaited her. Nonhlanhla soon learned the harsh reality that she would never walk again but being the diehard optimist that she is, she instead chose to make a triumphant return to the world and embrace the change. Although the adjustment was extremely hard, considering her age at the time, she used it as a golden opportunity to redefine and re-evaluate her position and purpose in this world. She went on to thwart the stigma attached to the physically challenged and rebelled against ableism when she won the hearts of casting directors and became a TV presenter.
AdoWord on what keeps her going:
I am a big Jesus freak and so my God is who or what keeps me going. Knowing that there is a superior being and knowing my purpose gives me something to wake up to every morning and lastly … my heart for people.
AdoWord on people pitying her:
You find them everywhere in the world … you can’t go anywhere without finding someone pitying you. However, you find those who understand you are just normal but facing a more physical challenge and those who somehow fear the situation due to lack of knowledge.
AdoWord on her TV entrance:
Ha ha ha! TV found me … being at the right place at the right time is most applicable to my entry into TV. My physio knew someone who knew someone who was looking for someone to do pilot videos and when it got to the SABC the producer happened to be looking for a presenter … but I had to go through a rigorous audition process. There were other known presenters with experience and, well, it goes without saying that the intimidation was there.
AdoWord‘s life mantra:
Your life is not only about you. It’s about the impact that you can make on other people’s lives. The greatest leader is the one who serves and a giving hand never lacks