Deaf people usually face countless challenges that include segregation, mistreatment and, in most cases, lack of basic social services that affect their well-being in society.

They are often isolated and lack self-confidence, but there are some whose mental strength, passion and abilities will make them great leaders of tomorrow.

Driven by passion to see young deaf girls and women achieve their full potential, Kuda Mapeture (26), who was once crowned First Princess and Miss Photogenic in the Miss Deaf Africa Pageant 2016, has become a role model to her peers.

“Lack of basic education is one of the biggest challenges many deaf young people face in life. When I was growing up, I encountered many challenges and this gave me the desire to help my peers get empowered and capacitated in order to achieve their goals in life. This is done through deaf awareness sessions, sign language practice and talent coaching,” said Mapeture.

Zimbabwe’s Chaplain of Deaf Voice, Mr Tryson Vava said the inclusion of deaf people in all spheres of life is crucial.

Early intervention, language development and access to basic education for the deaf as well as challenging perceptions of hearing loss in society will go a long way in strengthening the foundation for prosperous deaf communities.