Ntando Innocent Mahlangu
Ntando Innocent Mahlangu, 19, won silver at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also qualified for the 2020 Summer Paralympics, a remarkable achievement. What makes this grade 12 Pretoria Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool pupil even more remarkable is the fact that, when he’s not training, he makes time to mentor 21 fellow bilateral lower limb prosthetic blade users. Mahlangu was born in 2002 in KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga with a physical abnormality known as fibular hemimelia, which affects lower limbs from the knee down. The condition kept him in a wheelchair until he received prosthetics from the Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund when he was 10. “I had to endure my fair share of being bullied while growing up as I was labelled ‘different’. It’s important to me to help instil self-confidence in the amputee children I mentor,” Mahlangu says. Mahlangu is one of the nine Paralympians featured in the Netflix documentary, Rising Phoenix, an inspiring documentary about how the Paralympics have, over the years, helped to challenge the way society thinks of disability, excellence, diversity and human potential.