Frankcheska Nicole Witbooi is a 29-year-old cane weaving student from Kuils River, Cape Town. Born completely blind, determined doctors gave Frankcheska an opportunity to regain partial sight in her right eye with a cornea operation when she was just 3 months old.
Frankcheska was a student at Athlone School for the Blind (ASB) from the young age of four (4) and went on to complete her Matric certificate in 2011. ASB taught her how to be independent of others and to trust herself more with everyday activities.
When she initially joined CTSB in 2017, she enrolled and completed a 6-month cane weaving course but had an uphill battle with some of the woven items. The CTSB Social Worker placed Frankcheska in a new EPWP programme that saw her learning new barista skills in our coffee shop. She successfully interned at Café 45 from April 2019 to March 2020 and again from October 2020 where she created delicious artisanal coffee. When Café 45 closed in March 2021 due to the Covid pandemic, Frankcheska yet again enrolled herself in a cane weaving course to overcome her previous struggles with the craft.
To date, she is most proud of her woven cane trays. Lynette van Niekerk, CTSB cane mentor and facilitator, says that Frankcheska has come a long way but has finally mastered her tray weaving skills. Frankcheska proudly stated that “Coming to the Society was the best decision I ever made as I know I can live my best life and just be myself without being judged. This (CTSB) makes me feel at home, I truly love being here.”