June 15, 2024

CLUBFOOT CHAMPION, MPUMELELO MHLONGO

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CAPE TOWN – SOUTH AFRICA – A host of South African celebs have taken up the challenge to #StepItUp for children born with clubfoot. Kicking off Disability Awareness Month, running from 3 November to 3 December, Britain’s Got Talent finalist Musa Motha has co-choreographed a TikTok dance routine to the sound of an original amapiano track, “I Am Possible”, by legendary local producers Dino Moran, Bee Deejay, and DJ Schuster. Paralympic Games record holder Mpumelolo Mhlongo is also running with the cause, to amplify their message: South Africa, it’s time to #StepItUp.

Working together with local non-profit Steps Clubfoot Care, an organisation that works to improve the lives of children born with clubfoot, aims is to raise R1-million to support the treatment of 400 children born with clubfoot, and prevent disability, through a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy. (https://www.backabuddy.co.za/I-am-Possible)

“Every year, an estimated 11 000 children are born with clubfoot in Southern Africa. With access to the right resources and medical care, this potentially disabling condition is entirely treatable. Our ambitious goal is to ensure that no child is left untreated, by helping families who would otherwise not have access to treatment. What better way to raise awareness for this cause, than through the universal power of dance?” says Karen Moss, who founded Steps in 2005, after the successful clubfoot treatment of her own son.

STEPS FOUNDER, KAREN MOSS WITH MPUMELELO MHLONGO

Motha, whose left leg was amputated due to cancer when he was 10 years old, and Mhlongo, who was born with amniotic band syndrome (ABS) and clubfoot, were among the first to join the #StepItUp movement.

“All children born with clubfoot deserve an opportunity to walk, run, and dance. The TikTok challenge is a celebration of everything that is possible with access to the right resources – and this can only be achieved if everyone gets involved. Whether you’re a dancer or not, I challenge you to step it up for children born with clubfoot,” says Mhlongo.

“I have accepted the #StepItUp challenge, because I believe that every child should have an opportunity to say ‘I am possible’ to themselves and the world – regardless of whether they are disabled or not. This campaign is an opportunity for everybody to make a difference in the life of a child born with clubfoot,” says Motha.

Inspirational dancer Musa Motha

The song “I Am Possible” is available for download on https://stepitup.steps.org.za/i-am-possible-song-download/ for just R10 – but supporters are welcome to make larger donations too, through STEPS’ crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy.

“The #StepItUp campaign is about sharing a universal message of hope and inclusion. We want to make a difference in the lives of as many children as possible. A major part of this is raising awareness, which is critical to addressing stigma and getting more children into treatment. This is why we are appealing to the broader public for support,” says Moss.

Steps is a South African-based non-profit organisation that works to improve the lives of children born with clubfoot, focusing on advocacy, patient-centred care, and supplying clubfoot braces. Clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal birth defect globally, in which a baby is born with one or both feet twisted downwards and inwards, in a rigid position. If left untreated, children will not be able to wear shoes or walk normally, leading to a life of disability, pain, and isolation. Unlike many other birth defects, clubfoot can be treated.

To date, STEPS has helped over 18 000 children across Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia) – with more than 4 000 currently in treatment at 38 specialist partner clinics. For more information, visit www.steps.org.za

Campaign explainer

Mpumi TikTok challenge

TikTok tutorial

 

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