Morgan was crowned Miss Deaf South Africa 2004 at the Performer Theatre in Pretoria. She was crowned Miss Deaf World in July of the same year in Prague, Czech Republic. “I would like to prove to the hearing world that deaf people can do anything [the hearing world] can, and sometimes even better. As a young woman hoping to be in Parliament one day, I would like to fight for the rights of women, especially deaf women,” she said during her acceptance speech.
She loves acting and made her debut in ‘Eve’s Cradle’, the award-winning Dtv drama. The character she portrays is a young Indian girl from a strict Tamil family who falls pregnant. Her parents refuse to accept the pregnancy and Yashika is one of an unfortunate trio who land in the claws of Jakoff, a sinister Bulgarian who runs an Internet adoption project.
Morgan is the face that many hearing people associate with the South African deaf community. A globetrotter, she has visited the Americas and Europe. As a celebrity, she has used her status to fight for deaf rights in South Africa.
Since winning the Most Influential Women in Business and Government (MIW) Award in 2012 for the sector ‘Media’, she has successfully completed her first year of studies at the University of South Africa (Unisa), which has brought her closer to her dream of being in Parliament in future! “Studying at a nonresidential university has brought about tremendous challenges, and overcoming these has led to my personal growth as a bonus. Tackling assignments after a taxing day in front of the cameras and studying for exams when you are flying all over South Africa is hectic. My time management has improved hugely,” she says.“A monumental goal that I am currently trying to achieve is to make universities deaf-accessible. I am presently negotiating with Unisa to allow deaf students to do their exams in Sign Language. If one university takes this pioneering step, others will follow.”
“At Dtv, we have taken on a huge challenge by reaching out to six African countries this year. They will enter our annual drama competition for deaf learners, namely Zwakala,” says Morgan. Zwakala coincides with International Deaf Awareness Week, and serves as a tool to create awareness of this silent minority that is cut off from the hearing world owing to prejudice, and a lack of tolerance and understanding.Dtv’s national poetry and drama competition for deaf learners reaches all schools for the deaf in South Africa. It provides a platform where the deaf youth can express their feelings, their fears, and their hopes through the performing arts.
Empowering the Deaf Youth
The ‘Connect’ section of Dtv features deaf role models for the youth. This inspires the youth and shows them that, despite a disability, you can reach your dream. The ‘Candy@’ section connects them with the hearing world which is part of their lives. The annual drama competition, Zwakala, also provides the youth with a platform to express their fears, dreams and ambitions.Morgan says that her role models are her parents. “They instilled the best morals in me, and for that I thank them. I will pass on the values they have taught me to my children and the next generations.”
Teamwork is essential at Dtv. It is a highly specialised programme that calls for lots of transcribing from English to Sign Language and from Sign Language to English. It has subtitles and a voice-over for hearing viewers. A programme can only be subtitled once it has been edited, and both processes must be carried out in time for the voicing and final mix. “If one role-player lags behind, the deadline becomes a monster. Lots of breathing and calm energy are needed in abundance!” explains Morgan on the processes at Dtv.
“Dtv is a success because we are in close contact with our viewers. We invite their suggestions and react to their criticisms in positive ways. The most important reason for Dtv’s success is that it’s done FOR the Deaf BY the Deaf,” emphasises Morgan.Morgan concludes with a quote from Helen Keller. “If I had a choice between blindness and deafness I would choose to be blind. Blindness only separates you from things, deafness separates you from people.”
“I want to challenge readers to find out more about this silent minority and to become more deaf-aware, and I also want to challenge decision makers to employ more deaf people. Finally, watch Dtv on Mondays at 09:30, with a repeat on Saturday at 10:00, on SABC 3 television.”
Candice Morgan was born on 27 December 1980 in Lenasia, Johannesburg, South Africa. She is an actress and former South African beauty queen. Morgan is widely acknowledged as the face of the South African deaf community.
She began working as a Dtv presenter at the young age of 13, and, after matriculating from MC Kharbai School for the Deaf, completed a course in information technology by lip-reading and studying hard. In 2001, she joined Dtv on a full-time basis and, with in-house training, acquired the skills of scriptwriting, editing and directing. Today, she is the Executive Producer of a company that produces world-class television for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Her struggle to succeed in a hearing world has made her particularly strong and instilled in her a burning desire to help others reach their full potential.
FOCUS ON EXCELLENCE | TITANS
by Shalane van Rensburg