A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS

MEET THE TEAM

Deafinitely Global NPC was registered by Rachelle Venter in February of 2021. Rachelle has been deeply involved in the deaf community for nearly two decades. The alphabet opened the doors of this community to Rachelle at the age of 18. This was the first time she met a deaf person, Petro Koen. Petro is a naturally born teacher with a lot of patience, who took the time to engage with Rachelle. By spelling a word, Petro taught her the corresponding sign. From there, Rachelle developed a deep passion for sign language and the desire to understand the silent community. Deaf people are deeply connected with each other from a very young age. As diamonds, they are scattered and hidden in SA. Our country has one deaf school/institution per province, the largest and most well-known being De La Bate School in Worcester, Western Cape.

Rachelle’s first job after school was au pairing for two deaf boys, which introduced her to the only deaf rugby team South Africa had at that time in Pretoria. She was asked to assist with interpreting and to help register the South African Deaf Rugby Association (SADRA). She served as the secretary for the president and vice-president of the association. In 2015, history was made by hosting a game which earned the Deaf South African team the protea on their jersey. They played against the world champions for the last 10 years, Wales Deaf, on South African soil at Hoërskool Waterkloof in a two-test series. South Africa lost both games, but managed to score one try by deaf Springbok, Leon Willemans.

With this achievement, provincial unions were established, and Rachelle was elected as manager of the Western Province Deaf Rugby Union. In a short timeframe, the provinces grew, each averaging one to three full teams. Rachelle served SADRA for seven years in total. Rachelle was also involved in the Miss Deaf SA pageant, Miss Deaf Africa, and Miss Deaf World, serving these organizations voluntarily in various capacities such as interpreting, event planning, fundraising, and more.

After the passing of Rachelle’s parents, she began interpreting full-time for the National Institute for the Deaf (NID) at their college in Worcester, and for government institutions like police stations, hospitals, and government meetings. When COVID-19 hit, rules and regulations did not allow for interpretation to continue as usual. This is when Rachelle realized the need for an organization focused on the self-sustainability of deaf individuals in a hearing society. She reached out to key members in the deaf community, such as Letiwe Nkata, former Miss Deaf SA and current vice princess of Miss Deaf World. Letiwe, a strong and beautiful woman with a kind, caring heart who values her community, is also well-educated, having been a former chef student at NID.

Alongside her is Phumelela Mapuktaka, current Mr. Deaf World, an ex-NID construction student, and a SA deaf soccer player. Alexis Minnaar, a sign language teacher at NID, has a passion for teaching sign language and a great understanding of how to integrate the deaf community into hearing society. Even though our members are in different provinces, we move as one, dedicated and committed to uplifting the deaf community.

RACHELLE VENTER

RACHELLE VENTER

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

LETIHWE NKATA

LETIHWE NKATA

OPERATIONAL MANAGER

PHUMELELA MAPUKTAKA

PHUMELELA MAPUKTAKA

OPERATIONAL MANAGER

ALEXIS MINNAAR

ALEXIS MINNAAR

HUMAN RESOURCES

EDDIE TSUBELLA

EDDIE TSUBELLA

PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

GET INVOLVED