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South African amputee dancer Musa Motha soars high

South African amputee Musa Motha is inspiring people living with disability to explore different disciplines and is breaking down social prejudices as a full-time dancer.

Musa Motha had his left leg amputated below the knee 12 years ago, after suffering from osteosarcoma; a cancer that starts in the bones that often make up the arms and legs and tends to occur in children and young adults.

The decision was not however an easy one, “I was bedridden for two years before I decided to have an amputation,” said Motha told the Daily Sun.

He became a recipient of the Reach For A Dream Foundation’s drive, which encourages children to use their dreams to fight life-threatening illnesses through the fulfilment of their dreams. Through the Foundation’s Slipper Day it aims to raise funds for these children between the ages of three to 18 years.

Reach For A Dream CEO, Julia Sotirianakos told the Killarney Gazette, “All the funds from Slipper Day go into a dream pool to make a child’s dream come true and give them a positive lasting memory as well as hope to parents and courage to continue fighting their illnesses”.

Read: Meet Crystal Chigbu the Nigerian mother de-stigmatizing disability

A dreamer himself Motha spoke on his experience saying, “Reach for a Dream has done a lot for me. I’m here today, a professional dancer, because of the foundation. They gave me hope and a second chance at life,” he said.

“I also have a love for music, and the foundation bought me a sound system. Being able to play the music helped me to get to where I am today, a professional dancer”.

As a professional dancer, Motha has learnt to use gravity and sometimes his crutches to make the motions needed in his routine.

“The challenge that I have with just grabbing the choreography. For two abled bodies to catch something, it can take them 5 seconds, for me it’s going to take me 10 seconds you know. That’s only the difference. Apart from that, I’m perfect,” he told Reuters of his only deficit.

In his performances he mixes street, cultural and classical dance and has been in high profile music videos. Currently he is part of the Vuyani Dance Theatre whose latest project, “Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro” is a dirge for departed souls and an opportunity to heal through music and interpretive dance.

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