By Jabulile Ngwenya

Rose petals were scattered on the sand-coloured paving in a garden resplendent with rose bushes at a jubilant ceremony at Ludwig's Roses in Linbro Park, just outside Johannesburg.

Here, a new rose created by rose cultivator, Ludwig Taschner - the Candice Rose - was unveiled.

Bold, beautiful, soft and feminine, this exquisite rose is the first in the world to be named after a deaf person, 26-year-old Candice Morgan.

A blend of deep cream, yellow and pink, the rose perfectly captures Morgan's exuberance and zest for life.

Candice is from the Latin and means "fire-white" and she feels the rose is a reflection of that.

An executive producer for Deaf TV (Dtv), where she first cut her teeth as a 14-year-old presenter, Morgan is well-known in the deaf community.

Wearing a stunning pale yellow gold embroidered sari, and a sash with several Candice roses over her right shoulder, a joyful Morgan, signed in South African sign language that it was an honour to have a rose named after her.

Speaking about the rose's significance, she signed: "Its intricateness shows the true heart of a woman. This rose is multi-dimensional, very much like me.

"Its colour reminds me of the sunrise, the dawn of hope, which I aspire to give to people. The rose's inner core is surely the most beautiful, which is living proof of my philosophy - let your inner beauty become your exterior beauty."

Morgan, who is from Lenasia, was crowned Miss Deaf SA and Miss Deaf World in 2004.

Bruno Druchen, the National Director of DeafSA, signed that the rose will be an icon of triumph at the 35th World Federation of the Deaf Congress, which will be held for the first time in the country in 2011 in Durban.

Morgan will plant the Candice Rose at all schools for the deaf countrywide, where children look up to her as a role model, and encourage them to achieve their dreams.

One of the country's most active ambassadors for deaf awareness, Morgan has travelled to Canada, London, Paris, Prague, the US, Greece, Swaziland and Spain covering deaf issues.

Morgan's life has not been without its challenges.

When, at the age of one, her parents realised she was hard of hearing, they sent her to speech therapy lessons at the University of Witwatersrand, and enrolled her into a mainstream school before moving her to MC Kharbai School for the Deaf in Lenasia. Here she excelled and represented Gauteng in athletics, volleyball and netball.

After completing an IT course, she struggled to find a job, and rejoined Dtv as an anchor presenter and assistant producer, working her way up the corporate ladder.

When she is not busy with Dtv, she works at Hi Hopes, a support group for parents with hearing-impaired babies, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Morgan says her motto is "follow your dream - dare to reach, encourage and motivate not only yourself but also those around you".

Her dream is "to star in a Hollywood movie and be on the red carpet to show that not only hearing people can act - and to be the best executive producer in the world".