South Africa--When 25-year-old Linky Mohlolo gave birth on 10 July 2008 to a baby girl who she named Morategi, she was shocked to discover that she was born with a disability. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw her,” Linky explained, as she watched her daughter who was sleeping on a grass mat covered with a blanket.” After holding her for the first time in my arms and breast-feeding her, I could feel there was something wrong with her. I couldn’t feel her other arm moving around on the other side like a baby should. So, I waited for everyone to leave the nursery room, and I quickly unwrapped her little blanket. I was so scared and shaking. That is when I found out that my baby is a disabled,” she said.
Morategi was born with only one short hand with two fingers and on the other side only a little finger is attached to her shoulder. Everyday is a struggle for the little girl, as she cannot function like other little children her age. Although she is able to walk, without hands she’s unable to balance herself. Morategi falls down a lot and now she has to always hold on tight to her mother just to be able to walk around because she is afraid of falling down all the time. “I couldn’t believe it at first, but I started accepting her condition when she was nine months old, when reality hit me that indeed my baby is like this.” She said.
However, the same thing could not be said about reactions that Linky and her daughter get from her community members. According to Linky, people are always laughing and gossiping about the fact that she has a disabled child. They even mock her on the streets. “I do walk around and even go shopping, but I come back home unhappy because people are always asking me stupid questions like, was she born like this? You have to understand that you cannot give birth to a baby and then cut out its arm,” she continued, trying so hard to hold back her tears but soon her eyes turned watery like a freshly cut diamond. “My daughter is like this because she was born like this. I don’t mind people asking themselves this question in their minds, but they mustn’t ask me this because it pains my heart deeply,” she said.
Linky went on to add that it is this type of ignorance amongst community members that drives many parents to hide their children behind closed doors. However, she doesn’t want to be that kind of a parent. “I don’t want to hide my daughter in the house because hiding a disabled child is the same as killing her and she won’t get used to being around people,” she said. “I want to be able to move around with her freely anywhere as I please. Having a disabled child is better than not having a child at all. There are some people out there who have everything but a child. I love my baby.”
But for Linky to see her child struggle everyday like this really makes her heart ache. She feels helpless because she cannot afford to buy Morategi artificial hands to help ease the situation. She is pleading with everyone out there to Morategi by getting her the artificial hands.