A visually-impaired Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) lecturer Farisai Mlambo (52), says teachers and lecturers should embrace braille to ensure inclusion for visually impaired people.
Mlambo graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA) on 4 October 2022.
BellaNaija reported that just before Mlambo took the stage to receive her Ph.D. degree, it was said that she had contributed new information that would help teach visually impaired students around the world.
Mlambo, a lecturer in the Department of Teacher Development at the Great Zimbabwe University, attributed her success to an inner drive and help from her assistants. She said:
Society discriminates. If you don’t see it, and worse, if you are a woman, that can be a double tragedy.
I know that because I am a woman and I have a disability. Sometimes when you have meetings, you are looked down upon. They think you are not capable.
This is the case in many sectors where disabled people are sidelined. Society is not allowing them to lead and progress.
I experienced the agony of having teachers who did not understand braille. I wish to change that by teaching braille to both lecturers and students at GZU and carrying out outreach to encourage children living with disabilities to take their studies seriously.
I believe this can go a long way to ensure inclusion for visually impaired people and many children who have a component of special needs, like hearing impairments.
Mlambo was born Farisai Masocha in the Mazvhihwa communal area in Zvishavane, Zimbabwe and was the third of 19 children in a polygamous family.
She was born with perfect sight but when she got measles at age five, she completely lost her sight.
Mlambo only managed to start Grade One at Gundekunde Primary School when she was 10.
Her father sent her to Copota School for the Blind in Masvingo province.
In 1994, Mlambo went to Gutu High School where she faced discrimination and loneliness due to her visual impairment.
She passed her Advanced Levels and got a temporary teaching post at Mavhiringidze High School in 1997.
That same year, with the assistance of the Council of the Blind she found a place at Hillside Teachers’ College.
After brief stints at Mutero and Cheninga schools, she went to teach at Copota in 1999, where she married Tawanda Mlambo, who is totally blind. The couple has four children.
In 2003, Mlambo enrolled in a block release programme at the Great Zimbabwe University, where she obtained her first degree, a Bachelor of Education in English.
In 2012, Mlambo became a lecturer at Morgenster Teachers Training College.
In 2013, she went back to school to get a Master’s in Education Languages with an English focus.
In 2016, Mlambo started studying towards a doctorate with UNISA and graduated in 2022.
More: Pindula News