MOLLMAGAZINE SOUTH AFRICA is defying beauty and breaking the barriers with models that truly inspires, today we sit down and talk to MOLL MAG SOUTH AFRICA MOLLBABE Babe of the Day – Jenelle Joanne Ramsami from South Africa , that exactly embraces that factor defying beauty and modeling living with a disability as our CEO Arne Schreuder
sit down to discuss with her the factors of how modeling can inspire through one’s physical disability , as Jenelle is our first ever MOLLBABE MODEL thats deaf / hearing impaired model for MOLL MAGAZINE SOUTH AFRICA
Welcome Jenelle Joanne Ramsami ,
Tell us how different is South African Sign Language comparing it to other countries ?
South African Sign Language (SASL) is the official sign language used by Deaf people in South Africa. It is not an official language of South Africa which we are currently awaiting for South Africa government to agree to make it the 12th official language. Different Sign Languages have developed in different countries where Deaf communities exist, for instance
British Sign Language (BSL), American Sign Language (ASL), Ethiopian Sign Language (ESL), South African Sign Language (SASL), etc. Sign Language is not universal or international as many people incorrectly believe. Sign Languages are living languages made by real people – the Deaf – making them dynamic, constantly changing and developing, like any natural human language
which is capable of developing new vocabulary when needed.
How does it work in a workplace when you are the only deaf employee do your fellow working colleagues understand you when you communicate with them in the working environment ?
Well, I have recently been retrenched as a executive in marketing. At first it was quiet, challenging however some of my colleagues and I have come
to a point where the communication barrier was broken unfortunately to the rest it was quiet disturbing how much I tried to view my points across but it proved to be unsuccessful that a deaf person could actually obtained the position that I had.
Tell us a bit more about your newest project ” BREAKING THE SILENCE – Hearing aid rocks what is it all about ? and how did you came up with the slogan called – Breaking the Silence hearing aid rocks ? and where can we find out more about your project called Breaking the
Silence Hearing Aid Rocks ?
I consider myself to be a social activist for the deaf. In this day and age deaf people are not taken seriously at all. we are felt to be incapable for doing what normal people can do,from past experience I myself have been turned down from opportunities that only hearing people are said to do which really broke me down. So breaking the silence allows deaf people to stand up and show that through this
small disability we too can accomplish just about anything and I intend on going the extra mile to make sure that the deaf community stands up LOUD and proud.
Despite all the negativity we face on a daily basis we to have a right to stand up and be heard, however when
we do happen to fight back we considered to be selfish ,attention seekers and cursed. So breaking the silence is there to innovate what
most deaf people are afraid to do and hearing aid rocks is there to uplift my campaign project. You can show your support on my Facebook page which is Break The Silence – Hearing Aids Rock and post a picture and #hearingaidrocks to bring out deaf awareness. I have also started
another page called “DEAFinitely Unique – “Don’t let others DEAFine you” which a USA fan and South African fan bought the shirt and I am hoping to
build that to uplift others .
You recently got your brand new hearing aids fitted for you how does it compare to your old ones or not having any hearing aid from the beginning ?
Well before I could get my first hearing aid my world was silent , I wondered what it felt like to hear the birds chirping, the rain, the
sound of the wind, anything that was unusual to me. Then my dad got me my first pair of hearing aids, wow for the first time ever I could
hear the world, it was the most amazing moment of my life unfortunately my happiness came to a sad end after it was stolen by
one of my teachers at school lol (long story).
Then they made hearing aids for us in school which wasn’t of good quality however it was manageable. When people started seeing me with hearing aids they referred to me as a retard which was very embarrassing for me at the
time. I used to hide my hearing aids when I got out in public and only
wear them when I was at a deaf school.
Eventually I out grew them because it became sore to my ears since 2008. So from that time up until this year I didn’t use them, till I felt
the urgent need for it because my hearing had gone from moderate to severe. I received my new hearing aids which is called phonak ,it has
the most advanced technology sounds it’s state of the art of deaf people, it captures everything even the gossip mumbling lol
As you are our first ever international MOLL BABE model for MOLLMAG SOUTH AFRICA and MOLL MAG USA we want to congratulate you on being A big part of us , AND we would like to know how do other models treat you in the industry of modeling as you are the first model with a hearing disability ?
Firstly I would like to say Thank you! And I feel privileged being the first international MOLLBABE model for MOLLMAG South Africa and also MOLLMAG USA. In the modeling industry it has been quiet a challenge in FHM SA because when I was chosen from Top 100 to Top 20 by the public votes. Most models felt that I modeled for pity because I am deaf and that I wanted exposure which is not true , the reason I model is because I love modeling and it helps boost my self confidence. Some feel threatened by me while others built a beautiful start to a never ending friendship.
We want to know what and who inspired you to be who you are today ?
Marlee Matlin , a deaf actress in USA who have accomplished and received her award for “God of the lesser children” and that inspired
me to become an actress so I acted in a deaf movie called “Home – it’s where you belong” first South Africa deaf movie, from there I wanted
to join other South African movies and series unfortunately the SOUTH AFRICAN movie / film industry chose to prefer a well spoken person with no hearing/speech disability. We just speak a different language that’s the only difference . Do they assume someone from Spain or Any other foreigners are unintelligent just because we speak a different language/ accent? No, they don’t. At least they shouldn’t and I am not going to give up on my dreams to be a actress in South Africa film industry one day.
Any other international icons that you look up to that also has a hearing disability and why ?
Nyle DiMarco from the (USA) who is an actor in TV SERIES #SwitchedAtBirth , HE won America’s Next Top Model ( Season 22 ) and Dancing with the Stars. I have recently shared my success to him as a FHM top 20 model with a disability which I appeared in newspaper which I showed him and he have responded ” it was so cool!!”
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JenjoOfficial/
Twitter – @
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jenjoofficial/
Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/MissJenjo
Website – http://www.jenellejoanneramsami.co.za/
Pinterest – https://za.pinterest.com/iamjenjo_/
Snapchat – @JenjoOfficial
Article Written and edits done by : Arne Schreuder