Lebohang Monyatsi is the first woman in Africa to be a runway model in a wheelchair. Like Jillian Mercado another model who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a child and ended up in a wheelchair when she was 12 years old, Monyatsi is challenging views on the hindrances of disability.
Even for people unencumbered by any disability, the fashion world can be really difficult to break into but Lebohang Monyatsi will not let anything stop her. Organisations like The Only One Foundation are helping to make it easier for disabled people to find a space in the industry. The foundation supports projects such as Miss Wheelchair World, in which Lebohang Montyatsi is set to represent South Africa this year.
According to her;
“The main goal is to break the stereotypes associated with people with disabilities in the fashion/entertainment industry and to pave the way for those to follow and succeed me.”
She told She Leads Africa that she wants people to know that disabled people have other abilities beyond sports activities and office work. I wanted to embark on this from a young age but couldn’t because of lack of opportunities for people with disabilities in the entertainment industry.
Here Are 5 Things To Know About Lebohang Monyatsi
- She was born and raised in North West Province, in a small town called Vryburg.
- She represented her country in the field of Wheelchair Basketball.
- She has loved modeling since she was a child when she did pageants but she gave up because according to her South Africa ignores diversity and inclusion.
- She was the finalist for Face Of The Globe and has modeled at Soweto Fashion week which appeared on Selimathunzi. She has also modeled at Maboneng Fashion week and GeeJunction Fashion show.
- She is extremely passionate about the needs of children, disability inclusion and accessible features for all.