(The audio file for the following interview can also be heard on the Downloads page at Vision in Word, located at https://www.visioninword.com/downloads)
During the month of September 2022, we will shift gears a little bit. We'll learn from stories of those who are either blind or visually impaired or have a share in their lives. All these and more coming up on Seeing Without Sight, What You Need to Know.
Ready to give us the first story is Tsaone Mosweu. Tsaone Mosweu is a public speaker, a mentor, and an intrapreneur. Life has not always been fun as it seems to be with her. In 2012, Tsaone lost her sight. What would help her endure? What did she do differently? How can her example help all of us? Listen as she unpacks her story.
My name is Tsaone Mosweu, I am a visually impaired young woman from Botswana, and I lost sight at age 12 after an unsuccessful eye surgery. The surgery was unfortunately supposed to be correctional, and it happened the way it happened. I became blind from then, and that's where at all began. The difficulties of not being accepted in the society, the difficulties of struggling to study on an equal level with others, the difficulties of not being as independent as you wish to be. And you know, I took long to accept that this was my reality. This is who I am, this is who I'm supposed to be. And this is the way I'm going to live for the rest of my life.
It came to me going to tertiary school to learn and understand that this life is not going to be fair on anyone. And I should accept it the way I am living it, is the way it is. That’s when I started to see that. I'm fortunate to be alive. I'm fortunate to be gifted the way I'm gifted and fortunate to be this talented. I'm fortunate to be this smart and I vowed to make a difference. I joined Girls for Girls Botswana. Girls for Girls is part of the global network of women who are particularly determined and aimed at empowering other young women to be leaders in their own spaces. And I'm very passionate about the work that I'm doing within Girls for Girls, where I'm willing to mobilize young women with disabilities to also be part of this network that is making a difference in the lives of women who are mostly known to be vulnerable to discrimination, women who are known to be vulnerable to unemployment, who are vulnerable to the societal mishaps. So, that's me.
I'm an avid reader, I love reading a lot. Through reading, I learn every day what I can do to make a difference. As part of me making a difference. I founded a business, which I am the director of called Comprehensive Academy Botswana. Through Comprehensive Academy Botswana, I'm willing to help girls and young women to be well educated in information that is not mostly provided in a formal school setting, education that is ready to be found by people who are left behind in most cases, through this business, I provide personal development. I provide information on health issues, particularly reproductive health issues for women, and I am also providing lessons on how best to face life's difficulties.
On top of all that I'm also a leader. I was trusted to be the Botswana Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted youth chairperson, where I ensure that young people are considered, young people are being taken care of, young people are being noticed, and are being included in all that is being done. They are being included in designing policies and young people are being provided with social support, with economic support, with the support that they require. I ensure that young people receive and access information on an equal level with others that are not in this cohort of disability, (other young people that are perceived to be normal.)
What I can say to everyone in conclusion is that embrace who you are, embrace your uniqueness, I embrace my uniqueness. And I understood that being blind, doesn't mean I can't make it in life. I know. Part of the work that I'm doing is just beginning. It's just starting now. And I saw to fly higher, to act like an eagle. I'm aiming to fly higher, where I'll see the life I lived and be proud of myself. So also, be proud of what you're doing. Be proud of what you were given. Be proud of how you were designed, be proud of the person you were meant to be in life, the people you are meant to be part of. I was meant to be part of the disability community and I'm proud of who I am. Be okay with being different, be okay with change, be okay with everything that is said to be uncomfortable. Because being uncomfortable, makes you look at things from a different lens. And looking at things from a different lens will make you unique, innovative, or make you understand better ways of doing things that are not so normal and not common, not known by a lot. So go out there and shine and be the best you can.
We certainly want to thank you so much Tsaone for sharing your story with us. Indeed, you have made some milestone achievements and we can learn a lot from you. You are a source of inspiration.
Tsaone is ready and more than willing to connect on LinkedIn. You may also want to invite her to come and give some powerful motivational talks at your events.
What can we take home? We have seen from her example that despite her being blind, she has managed to accumulate a lot. Likewise, whether you are limited in a way or not, do not be disheartened by what you can't do. What is it that you can do?
Focus on that and you will surely gain happiness, confidence and independence. Talking of that, we have more than 20 articles on our website, (visioninword.com,) which will help you when you are blind, or which will provide you guidance on how you can assist blind people.