Creating an Impact Beyond 2020
Mpumelelo Mhlongo (Mpumi) was born in a deeply challenging South African township in Durban, with amniotic band syndrome. This condition left him with a shorter right leg, a deformed club foot, and several affected fingers, which he carried alongside significant social stigmas. Doctors told Mpumi’s mother that he would never walk, and he didn’t in his early childhood. However, Mpumi shocked his family at six by taking his first steps, and has since never looked back.
Today, Mpumi is a world class athlete, South African 100m and 200m champion and the All-Africa record holder in the 100m, 200m, long and high jump for his category. Pending ratification, he is also the new world record holder in the T44 men’s 100m and 200m. Diligence led him to the 2016 Olympics in Rio where he narrowly missed out on the podium. Mpumi is doing everything in his capacity to achieve a medal in Tokyo 2020, however, to create a lasting impact for others like himself, he aims to build visibility and momentum around his journey.
There are approximately 80 million people in Africa living with a disability according to the UN, which is on the rise as the continent’s youthful population grows. We are determined to harness any momentum gained from this campaign to bring about the advocacy, awareness and access new generations of Africa’s para athletes and disabled community will need to overcome their barriers beyond 2020.
The Campaign Team