IT had always been her dream to drive.
Stigmatisation from the community at Hauna Growth Point pulled her down and almost derailed her dream.
Ms Tsitsi Munyebvu (37) has a locomotor disability on her leg.
While she had lost hope of ever driving, she heeded the call to attend the national launch of the Teachers For Economic Development in Harare in October.
Ms Munyebvu, who is a holder of a para-professional certificate in Education hitchhiked to Harare to attend the event.
Unbeknown to her, the revival of her dream to drive awaited her at the Harare International Conference Centre, where the launch was held.
“There was a call from the Public Address system, inviting those who wanted to showcase their nimble footedness on the dance floor to come forward. All this happened as we waited for the arrival of President Mnangagwa.
“I do not remember the song that was being belted out, but all I remember is that something just pulled me up and I danced my way to the stage. Others were shy, but I was excited that I was part of this historic gathering where teachers were interfacing with President Mnangagwa and several Cabinet ministers.
“I honestly did not know that my dance moves had captured the crowd’s attention. Everyone was looking at me, including the ministers who were there. Up to this day, I still cannot believe what happened with me.
“I am normally a shy person who would never dare dance even in front of a small crowd. And yet here l was, dancing at a large gathering of teachers from all the country’s 10 provinces, the President of the country and various ministers,” she laughed.
After people had left the dance floor, Information, Broadcasting and Publicity Services Minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa called Munyebvu back and rewarded her for her superb dancing skills.
“I was handed US$120, just for dancing, and I will never forget that day. I was in ninth heaven all day as I planned on what to do with the money. I knew this was my opportunity to fulfil my driving dream. When I went back home, I signed up for driving lessons with a driving school in Rusape,” she said.
Ms Munyebvu has already overcome gender and physical barriers to become one of the first physically challenged female drivers in Honde Valley.
She passed her learner’s test without any challenges and proceeded to acquire her driver’s licence.
“I just want to inspire the physically challenged children and women out there, and I believe I am currently doing that. If I can do it, then you too can do it or even better. This is not just about acquiring a driver’s licence, it is about anything that you wish to do or be in your life. Your disability does not mean that you are unable, it is not an inability. I have a deformed left leg, people look down upon me in the community, but I did it.
“There is nothing that I cannot do because of my left leg. I do not let it limit me. I am a good traditional dancer and I sing and dance in the choir too. No obstacle is too big for me,” she said.
Ms Munyebvu is married to Mr Mavhuto Kamwetsi who is also physically challenged and wheelchair bound.
The couple have three children.
They run Eaglecrest Juniors Private College in Honde Valley where there is an enrolment of 45 learners .
“The college is currently struggling and we are still trying to get it off the ground. We employ two other teachers. However, due to stigmatisation, people do not want their children to be taught by people with disabilities and that is the biggest challenge we are facing,” she said.
Ms Munyebvu said since she now holds a valid driver’s licence, she is eyeing a driving position at the soon to be opened Hauna Fruit Processing Company.
“I hope they will consider me for the driving post because driving has always been my dream and I love it.
“We are uniquely-abled and not disabled. People with disabilities have talents and gifts too and I believe mine is dancing and driving.
“I would like to thank Minister Mutsvangwa for recognising my dancing talent and rewarding me accordingly. Had it not been for her, I would not have been where I am today. l pray that my story will inspire other people,” said Ms Munyebvu.