Joseph has defeated endless challenges in the process of achieving his goals. He started losing his sight at the age of three due to glaucoma and eventually became completely blind in 2010. He notes that this was a dark time in his life literally and figuratively, but he decided that he could still be a success!

Joseph says he could never understand why his mom always asked him, as a blind person, to make tea for her when he visited.  Till one day when she said to him: “You might not be able to see, but you can still make it in life, and making the best cup of tea is a good start!”  He says that when he made her tea she was happy … and that made him happy.

At school, the teachers could not understand why Joseph loved playing but struggled with schoolwork. They concluded that he must be lazy. During the winter months, Joseph stayed at home as he was unable to find his way. His hometown, Balaclava in Thaba ‘Nchu, did not have facilities to accommodate visually impaired persons, but still, Joseph went back to school every year. He was determined to make something of his life and knew the only way to do so was to get a good education.


From a young age, Joseph watched his grandfather’s careful ritual of brewing tea on the fire, as there was no electricity. Joseph’s mother still believes that he makes the best tea, and we won’t argue.


A few years ago Joseph arrived in Worcester and joined Innovation for the Blind. A new town meant different streets and completely new surroundings: a daunting challenge, but as you can read Joseph is always up for a challenge.

A project was launched in collaboration with Truth Coffee Roasters and Joseph was identified to be trained as Barista. After many challenges, burnt fingers and blisters, Joseph became a master of the craft and today makes all the drinks on the menu: espressos, cappuccinos, latte’s … you name it!

Today, Joseph operates and lives independently in his “new” hometown with his white cane.  Joseph’s friendly face is well-known in the local media and even on television. Becoming a Barista and achieving the ability to make the best cappuccinos in Worcester, the Care Capital of South Africa, did not dim his drive for success and self-development – he has big plans for a future as an entrepreneur.


Currently, Joseph is completing an internship at Innovation and will start his journey to become a Barista Trainer in collaboration with IftB. We are excited about this amazing partnership and the opportunities it holds. His humbleness and positive outlook are inspiring, and he dreams of helping other persons with visual impairments to persist with courage.