DEF pays tribute to departed colleague
17 October 2023
By Simon Manda
In a moving memorial held in Soweto last Thursday, friends, colleagues and relatives painted a rosy picture on the character of the recently departed Operations Manager for Deaf Empowerment Firm(DEF), Ms Lindiwe Ntombi Dladla.
The Uncle Tom’s Hall in Orlando West, was packed with people from all fraternities who came to pay tribute and gave glowing memories and events that drew all of them to the central character of Dladla.
” I’ve lost not only lost my business partner and friend, but I’ve lost part of my voice and a bridge to the hearing world,” said Alex Msitshana, found and Managing Director of DEF.
“Lindiwe was my everything. We went everywhere together and we had become more than family”, added a teary Msitshana.
The video montage(attached below) bear testimony of the closeness that Dladla and Msitshana shared over the years.
A lot of tributes also poured in from members of the Presidential Working Group on Disability, the Deaf community and government officials who were interactive with Dladla as Msitshana’s sign language interpreter.
Born on the 14th of July 1979, at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, Dladla was the second child and eldest daughter of Dineo Sefadi and Duma Dladla. Over the years, Ntombi contributed her talents to various organizations, such as MBD Attorneys, Munitz Motors, and Global Financial Services.
She started her working career in the call centre industry. From here her career progressed into the communications field where she worked for five years and acquired facilitation, presenting, camera operations and project management skills.
Due to her love and passion for the Deaf Community, she decided to learn South African Sign Language (SASL) and enrolled part time at the Wits Language School so that she could communicate with the Deaf when they need help in public places.
She continued her SASL studies at SLED in 2010 because she wanted to know more about SASL and Deaf Culture and equip herself in this amazing language that is not known by many and only few can understand.
As the Operations Manager at DEF, Dladla was responsible for DEF candidates and projects. She also doubled up as an interpreter for the Managing Director as well as for candidates when going out to meetings and interviews.
She was looking at pursuing a career in Social Work so she could assist Deaf people in the challenges they faced in their daily lives and assist them to address them at a professional level.
Dladla was laid to rest last Saturday at the Nasrec Memorial Park in Johannesburg.