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I started running in 2014 and in 2016 I went to Rio to represent SA - Ntando

12 September 2020 3:35 PM
Tags:
2020 Paralympics
Ntando Mahlangu
Rising Phoenix

Young Paralympic star Ntando Mahlangu is featured in the Netflix documentary 'Rising Phoenix' which launched on 26 August.

On the Upside of Failure we chat to Paralympic star Ntando Mahlangu about the times that he has failed in life, what he learnt from the failure, and how he turned these lessons into success.

The inspirational story of Team SA’s young Paralympic star Ntando Mahlangu is featured in the Netflix documentary _Rising Phoenix, _which launched on 26 August.

Rising Phoenix is a ground-breaking movie about the Paralympic Movement, which will showcase in more than 190 countries on Netflix.

Featuring Paralympians from across the world, Rising Phoenix tells the extraordinary story of the Paralympic Games and inspiring athletes who show us what is possible when we push the limits of human movement, emphasising that disability is not inability.

The film’s release was planned to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Due to the postponement of the Games it will now form part of the one-year-to-go celebrations. 24 August marks the year-to-go milestone before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympic Games in Japan.

Born with a condition known as congenital hemimelia, Mahlangu spent a large portion of his young life in a wheelchair. At the age of 10, also the year of the London Paralympic Games, things changed.

Azania Mosaka speaks to Ntando for more on this and other aspects of his life.

I am not a fan of online schooling but we have to do it. There is nothing else we can do. It's an honour for me because other kids don't have online schooling, kids in rural areas and so on. I am grateful for what I have and we're pushing and hoping to finish this year so I can send my marks to a college or university where I want to go to after matric. (He is in grade 11). I want to study law

Ntando Mahlangu, Paralympic star

I was born without legs in 2002. I was in a wheelchair for 10 years and I amputated my legs in March 2012 and in September I was fitted with my first prosthetic legs. It was a big decision that I took at a very young age. Within a week or so I could walk and from then it has been a wonderful story.

Ntando Mahlangu, Paralympic star

I was a fat boy but I started training when I got my legs, started being fit and it worked for me. I started running in 2014 and in 2016 I went to Rio to represent my country at the age of 14. When I came back I had to write my exams because I was busy with grade 7 and was going to high school.

Ntando Mahlangu, Paralympic star

It's still going to a be a busy year with my matric coming and having to write my final and having to go to the Paralympics. I was an underdog in 2016 and no one was expecting me to do something. Next year is another ball game.

Ntando Mahlangu, Paralympic star

I idolise Caster Semenya. With my story and also with her also having the same challenges for me I am still pushing to compete with able-bodied and is very difficult for me. They are not allowing me but we're pushing the boundaries. I think it is the pushing and the energy that makes me like her. We also became good friends and she is like a mentor. I have her number and when I get stuck I call her and she will advise me.

Ntando Mahlangu, Paralympic star

I am always in trouble. At school, this year I didn't get detention but in grade 8 I took the cup, I think I got about seven detentions. I have changed and became a better person. I want to become a leader for the people at my school. I won't say I am perfect, I have my ups and downs. I am still a teenager, I am still learning. As a teenager I know everything, I don't want advice from my mom and dad, it is very difficult being a teenager. But is very nice when you have a team that supports you and tells you when you start to do wrong things.

Ntando Mahlangu, Paralympic star

Listen below for the full interview ...


12 September 2020 3:35 PM
Tags:
2020 Paralympics
Ntando Mahlangu
Rising Phoenix

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