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About Elash Mistry



Elash Mistry, the third of four siblings, was born in Pretoria in 1976.  Being blind from birth, he was able to adapt to the world at an early age.  His determination to succeed combined with his firm belief that one should not quit before trying hard enough took him to great heights.

Elash is almost qualified as an actuary.  Once he qualifies, he will be the first blind actuary in South Africa and one of the few in the world.  He is employed as an Actuarial Specialist at one of the largest insurers in South Africa.  Previously, he worked for the Financial Services Board and another large insurer in the country.

Being blind, Elash was forced to leave home at an early age to get an education.  He attended the Arthur Blaxall School for the blind in Pietermaritzburg, some 500 km away from home.  This was the only school for the blind that people of his race group could attend as a result of the apartheid system in South Africa at the time.

Having spent his formative years away from home, Elash learnt early to draw on his inner strength to succeed.  Unlike most children, he had very little access to his parents as he was in a boarding school.  Even though this was painful at the time, it moulded him into an independent person with a strong will, both of which held him in good stead for the rest of his life.

After school, Elash went on to obtain a Bachelor of Economic Science degree at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.  As he chose to pursue a career in Actuarial Science, he had to make it work for him as a blind person.  None of the course material was accessible to him and he had to spend more time overcoming this challenge than actually studying.  He was fortunate to have the support of Rykie Woite who transcribed his course material from print to electronic format so that he could access it using his computer and screen-reading technology for the blind.

Elash is married and has three children.  With support and encouragement from Michele, his wife, he is able to live very independently.  Like any family man, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife and children.

During his spare time, Elash enjoys gardening and DIY projects.  He is also very business-minded and enjoys analysing any opportunities that come his way.

Elash loves adding value to people’s lives and takes this quite seriously.  This is what inspired him to become both a motivational speaker and life coach.  He believes that inspiring people to be their best is not enough as this usually doesn’t last long enough to get them to where they want to be.  What is more important is to show them the way and help them overcome any obstacles that block them.  He believes that the job is only done once a person can stand on their own feet and proudly say that they are happy with who they are and what they have in life.