Meet Devan Naidoo – A father defying all odds


Fifty-one-year-old Devan Naidoo is proof that with a positive attitude, you can overcome your biggest challenge.

Despite having multiple physical impairments, the MANCOSA Bachelor of Commerce in Supply Chain Management student confirms that what doesn’t kill you does indeed make you stronger.

In his early years, Naidoo worked in the South African Defence Force, where he rose from storekeeper to instructor at the SAS Saldanha training base. During his tenure in the SADF, Naidoo was involved in a tragic incident where he sustained spinal injuries.

No longer being able to work in the SADF, Naidoo headed home to take up a job as a butchery manager to support his family.

“Life was tough. I had to continue working after each accident to support my family with a small monthly income,” he said.

But tragedy struck again when he lost his left arm from below the elbow in a mincing machine. If this was not his fair share of tribulations, Naidoo was involved in a motor accident in 2010, which led to him undergoing bilateral hip replacement surgery. He also has a cardiac disability.

Throughout his adversity, Naidoo persevered and kept pushing himself to his limits, knowing that he had to get back on his feet, even if they were prosthetics.

“I subsequently joined Toyota South Africa Motors, where I am currently working as an administrator in the security and investigations department.

During his working life, Naidoo gained expertise in Quality Management Systems (QMS), qualified as a Grade-A Armed Response Officer, and has a CCTV Surveillance Skills and Body Language training certificate.

His never-give-up attitude persuaded him to realise the need for upskilling. He enrolled at MANCOSA and hopes to complete his degree by 2021, which he believes will help him achieve his long-term goal of being appointed in a managerial position at the company where he works.

“I am thankful to MANCOSA for their continuous and excellent student support during the COVID-19 lockdown, which has helped me a great deal to get through my studies,” he said.

Naidoo said the greatest lesson he had learned from all his unfortunate incidents is to
always look on the positive side of life. His wish is to “make a difference in society” and urges youth to be respectful and always follow their dreams regardless of their circumstances.