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John Messiahs

After being bullied relentlessly and told that he would only be able to participate in certain sports codes and do certain jobs in his life, John Messiahs, 33, from Oudtshoorn went on to prove all his naysayers wrong.

When Messiahs was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of nine, he was told he couldn’t participate in the sports he loved. But by the end of his school career, he had captained and received awards in squash, table tennis and badminton. He lost his disabled father when he was 15 and almost failed Physical Science in Grade 11, but worked hard and managed to graduate with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

Messiahs got a job with PetroSA and continued studying via correspondence. He became one of PetroSA’s top graduate engineers and, despite a near-fatal car accident at the age of 23, he later fulfilled a dual role in the company, whilst working a third job at night as a real estate agent in order to financially assist his family.

His tenacity and unwavering commitment to the success of the state-owned company saw him receive various accolades, thereby climbing the corporate ladder, and at the age of 27 he was entrusted with the role of developing the Annual Strategic Plan of the organisation; a similar visionary role he now fulfils at the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC).

Having grown up as one of four children in a single parent household, Messiahs continues to support his family financially, and is in the process of completing a MBA degree.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Nominated in category: Resilience

Photo: Supplied