SOUTH AFRICA: BLIND FATHER, ORNETTE DANSE, GRADUATES WITH DISTINCTION

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Ornette Danse, 32, a blind father of three graduated with flying colours, after receiving his diploma in public management at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s (CPUT) in South Africa. His hard work paid off as he achieved 10 distinctions over the course of his studies.

Having lost his vision at the age of 10 after a botched operation to repair a retinal detachment, he was determined never give up.

“I am overwhelmed, happy, glad.I can’t properly describe this feeling,”

Danse told local media. It was an overwhelming accomplishment. I felt like I made it.”

And while three years of hard work and dedication has paid off, he is far from done with his studies for now

Danse is already looking to tackle his Bachelor of Technology degree.

It was a tough route to success, Danse underwent switchboard training and volunteered during the holidays at his local police station as a switchboard operator.

“I knew that being blind would make getting a job straight out of school basically impossible. I had limited options so to ensure I was employable, I wanted to make sure I had work experience,” Danse said.

Danse can even speak six languages

Setswana, isiXhosa, English, Afrikaans, isiZulu and Sesotho.

He received a bursary from the police and juggled his studies and work responsibilities for three years.

“It was very difficult –up and down – but I did it,” he said.

Danse was reliant on typed notes which were “read” to him by a screen reader programme.

“I can’t read the board so I would sit and listen intently. I think it helped me understand the material better as instead of concentrating on notes, I would take in everything, then explore it when I got the electronic version,” he explained. Danse’s story has touched many on social media, who have shown their support for a number of platforms.