Esther Motlhabane, a remarkable individual with a zest for life, was born with Albinism and has embraced her uniqueness as a source of strength. At 31 years old, Esther’s personal motto, “I am a student of life, for life” serves as a constant reminder of the boundless opportunities for learning and growth that life presents.
Born in Hammanskraal and raised in Mabopane, Pretoria, Esther’s early years were marked by her shy nature. However, she discovered her passion for public speaking at a young age, realizing her talent for expressing herself and captivating audiences. From reciting and writing poetry to participating in the school orchestra and talent shows, Esther eagerly seized any opportunity to take the stage and share her voice. Growing up, she faced limited representation of people who resembled her, but her grandmother, a black woman with Albinism, served as a powerful role model. Esther’s mother also played a pivotal role in affirming her beauty and potential, collecting pictures and stories of people with Albinism to remind her daughter of her worth and dreams.
Esther began her education in a township primary school before transitioning to Prinshof School/Skool during her teenage years. She pursued higher education at the University of Johannesburg, where she obtained a Diploma in Public Relations and Communication. Building on her academic foundation, Esther gained practical experience in various fields related to public relations and communication. In 2022, driven by her thirst for knowledge, she decided to return to school to pursue an Advanced Diploma in Integrated Communication at Tshwane University of Technology. Esther successfully completed her qualification in record time and is set to graduate later in 2023. Alongside her studies, she is currently pursuing an LLB qualification at UNISA, emphasizing her passion for human rights and advocacy.
Esther’s expertise and inspiring story have attracted the attention of numerous organizations seeking her participation in speaking engagements and sharing her insights on advocacy and communication. In 2018, she was invited by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to speak at their Casual Day Celebration, where she provided personal insights into her experiences growing up with Albinism and the challenges she has faced in society. She has also appeared in a television promo for Casual Day, centered around the theme of celebrating diversity. In 2022, on International Albinism Day, Esther was invited to share her knowledge and experiences on the YouTube Channel “Totally Inspired” by Sibo Dube. Additionally, she served as the Public Relations Manager for the groundbreaking theatrical musical play “Lifted-Let the Blind Sing,” which showcased the talents of individuals with disabilities at the South African State Theatre as part of the Mzansi Fela Festival lineup.
Esther Motlhabane’s journey is one characterized by resilience, passion, and an unwavering commitment to making a difference. Her dedication to human rights, media representation, and public speaking continues to drive her forward. As she pursues her LLB qualification and engages with diverse platforms, Esther remains an influential figure, empowering others with her story and advocating for a more inclusive and understanding society.