KGOTHATSO K. G. MONTJANE’S RISE TO GRAND SLAM TENNIS IS A TALE OF PERSEVERANCE
Wheelchair tennis star Kgothatso “KG” Montjane’s success and approach to life is one of inspiration.
Meet our top women’s wheelchair tennis pro who’s made the world’s four biggest tournaments. She almost quit for lack of resources, but bounced back with a major endorsement and is thankfully defending her SA Open title.
Born in Polokwane, Limpopo with a congenital birth defect, the now 35-year-old, Kgothatso “KG” Montjane went through a single amputation below the knee at the age of 12. It’s only at the age of 19 that Kgothatso’s career in tennis began, when she received the equipment necessary for her to play wheelchair tennis.
“Being born with a disability made it quite tough to play with other kids, but obviously as a young toddler you don’t understand why people don’t want to play with you. I was fortunate enough to go to a special school where I found other kids who were just like me, so it was quiet a positive environment for me to grow up in,” says Kgothatso.
“It didn’t start out nice, but it turned out to be beautiful because I found myself in an environment where I really enjoyed myself and was more comfortable being there,” adds our tennis queen, who is currently ranked No. 1 in South Africa & No. 5 in the World.
“Being the first African wheelchair player to play in four Grand Slams is such an honour for me because it’s quite tough to hang in the top rankings and to be able to play at such a high level. The difficulty of being able to get into a Grand Slam is high so to achieve that for me is really an honour. I’m just grateful to be able to be part of those players in the world who get to play at that level,” shares Kgothatso.
This is pretty gracious for a woman who practices each evening, spends mornings in the gym and earns every ounce of her Conditioning Coach Kirsty Elliotts’ respect.
“What I hope people take from my success story, is just for them to realise that your situation doesn’t really define you. I know how hard life is, but if you really want something better in life, you need to be able to accept change, you start somewhere, and change is where it is,” says Kgothatso before adding. “There is always a chance to change.”
That comment right there was enough to make Kgothatso Montjane become our guru. One with a racket, wheelchair and a Masters degree in life.