I lost my leg but found my purpose! South African shares inspiring story!

Thab’s Dube shared an inspiring story of how he overcame losing his leg, become a small business owner and randomly saw his products being used by South Africans!

I lost my leg but found my purpose! South African shares inspiring story!
I lost my leg but found my purpose! South African shares inspiring story!

Thab’s Dube was heading home from a long double shift at the restaurant where he worked in 2013 when he was in an accident that led to him losing his leg.

He didn’t have a tertiary education behind his name and was left to struggle through life as an amputee. Because he couldn’t work while in his wheelchair went days at a time without food. He would just sit in it and watch as his friends all walked by on their way to work.

“Without any college education and a strong support structure, life as a differently abled person got really hard. It was everything from going some days without food to bumping on old friends while sitting on a wheelchair.

I still remember this other day I went to the traffic lights in Tygervalley to try and beg for money on my wheelchair, I just couldn’t do it, I felt like I was giving up on myself, never mind how I felt while I struggled with suicidal thoughts.”

This had all happened just a few years after high school and two years after losing both his grandparents. Thab’s was left feeling very low and uninspired by life. The trauma of everything happening so close together led Thab’s to have an emotional breakdown and without support, he struggled to pull himself back up out of the darkness he felt choked by.

“I couldn’t get a job while I was recovering and on a wheelchair,besides that,I just didn’t have any idea how I will start afresh.

Struggling with suicidal thoughts everyday made me come up with a slogan that would motivate me just to get to bed again. Days seemed longer and loneliness got into my nerves that I ended up believing the world had shut me out.

I am sharing my story because there is a lot of us in this world feeling the same way right now, who have lost their legs in different ways, I am talking to other young people.”

He started repeating his slogan daily which inspired him to start a business of making t-shirts. His slogan was “Live Everyday To The End” (LETZ) and he printed a few t-shirts that said, “WITH A T-SHIRT LIKE THIS, WHO NEEDS A LEG”.

Fast forward to present day and Thab’s has a thriving little business. He is a designer of some beautiful pieces, something he never would have foreseen for himself all those years ago.

“It is what saved me from the mess that I was in, deep inside. Today LETZ is making handmade leather products and has a small workshop in Stellenbosch. We have 4 employees who support 8 kids   at home and their spouses” 

The cherry on top of Thab’s inspiring story is that he saw a man walking around with one of his leather bags. He drove up next to the man and asked about the bag. The man had no clue that Thab’s was the designer of the bag and gave it a rave review stating that he could use it for the next 10 years.

Thab’s was so inspired by the encounter that he had to share it along with the story of how he got to this moment.

BY TYLER VIVIER

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