By Vanessa Papas
Beautiful. Nurturing. Compassionate. Ambition. Powerful. Women across the world are rising stronger than ever before. We have today a far cry from simply being ‘a man’s world’. In celebration of National Women’s Day on 9 August, we take a look at some amazing women who, despite their disabilities, have risen beyond imagination and become a force to be reckoned with.
Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane
Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane was born with a congenital disorder which affected both of her hands and a foot, with the other foot have to be amputated by the age of 12.
Kgothatso competed at both the 2008 and 2012 Paralympics. She holds 29 singles titles and is our number one women’s wheelchair tennis player. She is currently ranked number nine in singles internationally on the ITF World Wheelchair Tennis rankings, and is a strong, focused left-handed player with solid, accurate strokes. She was the first wheelchair tennis player from Africa to be nominated as the IPC athlete of the month in October 2012. She is also the first African player to compete in the esteemed World Singles and Doubles Masters in that same year. She reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, where she was the first African player to compete in a wheelchair grand slam. Kgothatso reached the women singles semi-final and doubles final at the Queensland Open in Australia in January 2016.
She spearheaded the SA’s Women’s Team at the Invacare World Team Cup in 2008 through to 2013, and again in 2015. She reached the British Open singles quarter-final and doubles semi-final round in July 2016. Just recently Kgothatso swept aside doubles partner Germany’s Katharina Kruger in a stunning three-set thriller, to reach her first semi-final round at Wimbledon in London. Kgothatso was awarded a wild card into the grass-court tournament to become the first African wheelchair tennis player to ever take part in the event. The 32-year-old from Seshego in Limpopo sent the German world number 6 crashing to her earliest loss at The All England Lawn Tennis Club with a memorable 6-3 2-6 6-1 triumph in just 80 minutes.