Paraplegic man surfs Cape waves, starts inspiring project to get others on board

Wheelchair-bound David Nhlapo recently braved the waves of Muizenberg Beach to learn how to surf and has since started a foundation to inspire others living with disabilities.

Nhlapo flew from Pretoria to Cape Town to learn adaptive surfing with the Surf Emporium.

He lost the use of his legs after he jumped in front of an attacker's bullet to save the lives of his pregnant partner and unborn child.

The couple were mugged in January last year and he took two shots to his spine that left him paralysed, but saved the lives of his fiancé and young baby.

Nhlapo says he researched activities that where wheelchair-friendly and found out about adaptive surfing online.

What happened in my mind was that I didn't want anything to limit me.

David Nhlapo, founder of the Victorious David Foundation

I was a very active person before I was injured, I was always in gym.

David Nhlapo, founder of the Victorious David Foundation

Surfing is something that I want to do regularly. I want to break barriers.

David Nhlapo, founder of the Victorious David Foundation

He has now founded the Victorious David Foundation to help show other people living with disabilities that life does not end.

I want to push and inspire each and every person who is in a wheelchair. I want to show them that there is still something that you can do for your life.

David Nhlapo, founder of the Victorious David Foundation

He explains that a positive mindset is what has pushed him to challenge himself and live without limits.

My life has changed forever. It's a situation that no one can prepare for, but I can still live.

David Nhlapo, founder of the Victorious David Foundation

I'm wheelchair-bound. I can't walk, but my mind is not disabled. I can still think and do a lot of things that I want to do.

David Nhlapo, founder of the Victorious David Foundation

I think that day I became a hero for my son and fiance. I could have died.

David Nhlapo, founder of the Victorious David Foundation

I don't want disabled people to hide or think it's over.

David Nhlapo, founder of the Victorious David Foundation

Take a listen to his inspiring story:

Thumbnail image credit: @jeffayliffe on Twitter.


CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Capetonian tackles 3300km canoe trip to raise awareness for NGO

Capetonian tackles 3300km canoe trip to raise awareness for NGO

'I’ve always had that urge to do something no one has ever done before.' - Elizma Fuller

This is why the movie 'Wonder' can teach our kids a lot

This is why the movie 'Wonder' can teach our kids a lot

'It’s a really nice story about why you shouldn’t treat people differently because they look different.' - Gayle Edmunds.

[LISTEN] This had never been done before says Professor Clarke

[LISTEN] This had never been done before says Professor Clarke

Professor Ron Clarke hosted a press conference to reveal the recent excavation of the full skeleton of Little Foot which took 20 years.

[LISTEN] 'We are dealing with an outbreak of Listeriosis' - Dr Thomas

[LISTEN] 'We are dealing with an outbreak of Listeriosis' - Dr Thomas

Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the NICD Dr Thomas says that Listeriosis is problematic because it isn’t notifiable.

How Philippa Johnson-Dwyer got back in the saddle despite disability

How Philippa Johnson-Dwyer got back in the saddle despite disability

Para-equestrian dressage rider Philippa Johnson reflects on her rehabilitation and flourishing career, in spite of many obstacles.

Woman in wheelchair booted off flight shows ongoing injustices, says law prof

Woman in wheelchair booted off flight shows ongoing injustices, says law prof

The story of a wheelchair-bound woman barred from boarding a flight because she had no companion has come to light, two months on.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] 'We are dealing with an outbreak of Listeriosis' - Dr Thomas

[LISTEN] 'We are dealing with an outbreak of Listeriosis' - Dr Thomas

Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the NICD Dr Thomas says that Listeriosis is problematic because it isn’t notifiable.

Publisher saves South African students billions with free textbooks

Publisher saves South African students billions with free textbooks

This year we're going to hit a million downloads of free textbooks in SA - James van der Westhuizen, country manager for Bookboon.

‘Conflicted’ Zuma will never again have say in appointing NPA boss, court hears

‘Conflicted’ Zuma will never again have say in appointing NPA boss, court hears

Shaun Abrahams is no longer the National Director of Public Prosecutions and President Zuma can't appoint his replacement.

Steinhoff money woes and why you should care

Steinhoff money woes and why you should care

The company lost around R100 billion leaving the JSE reeling in one of the biggest private sector business scandals.

Few retirement funds unaffected by Steinhoff implosion (i.e. you just got had)

Few retirement funds unaffected by Steinhoff implosion (i.e. you just got had)

Your money, and Steinhoff… Bruce Whitfield interviews Certified Financial Planner Peter Calitz.

‘There were clear warning signs at Steinhoff. All of which fund managers missed’

‘There were clear warning signs at Steinhoff. All of which fund managers missed’

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Sygnia Group CEO Magda Wierzycka.

Zille: 40 000 affordable housing units in the pipeline for WC

Zille: 40 000 affordable housing units in the pipeline for WC

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says the government plays a crucial role in the provision of affordable housing in the province.