Durban - Fourteen blind people have come together to share their life experiences, telling their unique success stories through a book titled Passion For Success which was launched on Friday.
Each person contributed by writing a chapter and the finished product was aimed at motivating and bringing insight into the world of the blind. Dr Siva Moodley, a blind author with four English language text books and two novels to his credit, said the idea was conceived in 2020.
“I felt that most had achieved so much and no one out there would know of their achievements, especially their children, so this was for posterity,” he said.
“Very little happened until 2021 when authors began writing, but it was not all at the same time or at the same pace. Eventually I gave some guidelines on what they could use, what to include in their chapters and we ended up with 14 people that could write,” he said.
Moodley, who is also the editor of the book and has a chapter towards the end of it, said in some instances he had to conduct interviews and write out the chapter. Once the book was done, they secured sponsorships to have it printed.
“What I found through this process is that although I know some of the authors so well, there was still so much I still didn’t know about them, it was interesting for me as someone developing the book.
“We are going to use the money from the book to empower blind people. We have a special fund which we will develop overtime for blind people needing bursaries, for those who want to develop special skills and to go out on excursions. That is the idea, we will work on that and build it to where it could really help blind people,” he said.
Minathi Gama, one of the authors, was born a blind hemiplegic, with a paralysis on the left side of his body.
The Wits University graduate, who has worked at a Durban call centre for 16 years, said what he wanted people to take away from the book was that although they were blind, they all led normal lives and that technology had become a friend that made daily living easier.
Gama has previously been involved in other published projects and the call to contribute to the Passion for Success came at the right time as he had an unpublished manuscript on his life at the time.
“I did not grow up in a family environment but through the foster care system between KZN and Gauteng provinces. “Disabled people should be able to tell their own stories, from how they are cared for in their homes to their workplaces. In my chapter I talk about the foster care system, detailing challenges along my journey,” he said.
Gama shared that over the years his daily commuting had been smooth because of the kindness of strangers. He said he used the same taxi that knew his pick-up and drop-off points.
However, during the hard lockdown his regular taxi driver experienced a few problems and lost his vehicle. That required him to use an unfamiliar taxi which resulted in the impatient driver using an unfamiliar route, exposing him to danger