The den where Precious Mothogoana spends each day is small but tidy, with a vibrant ambiance of her co-workers who share her passion for wildlife and tourism in South Africa.

Precious, a proud employee of Sanparks in Pretoria, Gauteng has been paralyzed from the waist down since 2002, following a horrific single- car accident in Mpumalanga.

“I was walking with my friend, when a car hit me from behind.”

The crash left Precious, 26, a paraplegic limiting her mobility to no use of her legs. “Since the accident I had to adapt my lifestyle,” says Precious. “I used to be a passionate athlete taking part in track events. After the car accident when my doctor explained to me that I’d never be able to walk again, I was experiencing mixed emotions -

I couldn’t even cry. The most frustrating thing was when I wanted to move my legs and I couldn’t, they felt so heavy.”

As an employee of Sanparks, Precious works in the Sales and Telemarketing department. She is also studying Human Resource Management through Unisa and plans to finish her degree in 2016.

“I decided to pursue an HR degree, because I look at the way people perceive persons with disabilities, especially in the work place, there are not many of us in senior positions. Most people with disabilities are not even considered for employment due to their disability.”

With a spontaneous, strong personality, Precious is determined to embrace a senior position at a company one day. “HR is definitely the way to go for me, because I’ll be able to convince any firm that people with disabilities are proficient and we can do any given task.”

According to Precious, South Africa has progressed with employing more people with disabilities, “especially in the government sector, which is good, but there’s still lots of room for improvement.”

“I’d like to see that those who are disabled and studying towards a better future, getting the jobs they deserve,” she says.

Precious’ biggest challenge after her accident was staying positive. “It’s been very hard living as a person with a disability, studying and working is quite stressful! But I told myself that I won’t let my situation get me down, and I’ll strive to reach my personal goals.”

She always had a dream to do performing arts and last year made a one-time appearance on the TV program, ‘Now or Never’ on SABC 1.

“That was an amazing experience. It motivated me to start taking acting classes, so this is how I occupy my time on Saturdays.”

When she’s not working, she loves hanging out with her friends. As the oldest sibling of five, Precious lives by the following motto: “Disability doesn’t describe who you are and you must never let your disability limit you!”

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