Life, Africa

For blind Kenyan lawyer, disability is not an inability

Julius Mbura is an advocate for disability rights who has a passion for cars and cooking

Andrew Wasike   | 12.01.2022
For blind Kenyan lawyer, disability is not an inability


Julius Mbura, a 29-year-old visually challenged lawyer, leaves his apartment in Ongata Rongai, a town in Kenya’s Kajiado County located south of the capital Nairobi.

Accompanied by his wife, he opens the door to his Subaru Forester. But before he enters the car, he folds a white cane that he uses every day to navigate around his neighborhood, work, or wherever he may be.

Since becoming blind back in 2010, Mbura says his disability has never affected him or limited his ability to achieve his goals.

He takes a seat, fastens his seatbelt, and asks his wife whether she has fastened hers.

Mbura grips the steering wheel with his left hand, starts the car with his right hand, and before long, the sound of him revving the engine fills the air as the car roars to life.

With the help of his wife, who serves as his eyes, he is able to drive to the shopping center and back.

“I can’t drive on busy roads where there are a lot of cars, but I can drive very well. In the estates or roads which have little to no traffic, I love driving so much, and despite being blind, I made sure that I learned how to drive. This made me learn so much about cars,” he said.

When he was young, Mbura fell into a state of depression as he began accepting his condition, but he quickly recovered and focused on his education and passion for success in life.

His condition did not stop him from going to law school, and he completed his studies and now helps represent visually impaired people.

Mbura, who was diagnosed with a condition called retinitis pigmentosa, became permanently blind at the age of 10. But with a love for cars, he continued learning about them by touching them.

“I started loving cars around the age of six. I can touch any car right now and tell you which model it is, which year it was made, and even the type of engine it has. That is how much I love cars. I love cooking too and baking. These are all things that I have learned to do by myself after I became blind,” he told Anadolu Agency.

Empowering VIPs

“I am a VIP – a visually impaired person – and my goal in life is empowering VIPs like me ... I am an advocate for disability rights, and I strongly believe in empowering younger VIPs to live up to their potential,” Mbura said.

He said he strongly believes that a disability is not an inability.

“There are so many misconceptions that are out there. People think that just because we are blind or suffering from a disability that we can’t do anything. I want to urge people living with a disability to know that they have the ability to overcome this small barrier,” he said.

“The first stage to conquering a disability is acceptance. After that, never give up on your goals in life. Invest the time and passion and you will achieve everything you have ever dreamed of. For people who are blind like me, just view life through a different lens and you will never lack vision.”

Mbura in his spare time likes making videos for his YouTube page, where he drives and reviews cars. He told Anadolu Agency that for him, his disability has never been an impediment to his success or his future.

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