Macethantile “Max” Kulati is the first wheelchair bodybuilder in South Africa and is thriving.
Nearly two weeks ago, Macethantile Kulati, better known as Max, was crowned World Champion after representing South Africa during the 2022 World IFBB Championship. Kulati has found great success in bodybuilding despite being paralyzed from the waist down. Recently, the bodybuilder shared his story and his journey to where he is today.
Kulati began as a powerlifter and is not the only wheelchair-bound professional bodybuilder in the continent. He hails from Moeggesukkel in Eastern Cape and has been able to overcome all obstacles. There have been times where Kulati has been denied a cab because some drivers believed that it was too difficult to get him into the car.
This is all because of one morning when Kulati woke up and could not feel his legs.
“I JUST WOKE UP LIKE THIS; THAT WAS BACK IN 2014,” KULATI SAID ACCORDING TO NEWS 24.
“IT CAME AS SUCH A SHOCK TO ME. I JUST WANTED TO PULL THE COVERS OVER MY HEAD AND NOT GET UP. I DIDN’T EVEN WANT THE DOOR TO BE OPENED AND FOR THE LIGHT TO FIND ITS WAY INSIDE, BUT ONE DAY, I REALISED THAT I NEEDED TO WORK ON MYSELF BECAUSE CRYING WOULDN’T HELP.”
The Journey of Max Kulati
Max Kulati explained that the paralysis was due to a growth on his spine. Doctors operated on his spine to remove fluid but they believed that Kulati would be paralyzed permanently.
According to Kulati, this is not the end as he can do things like wiggle his toes.
“I CAN MOVE MY LEGS NOW. I CAN WIGGLE MY TOES TOO AND CAN EVEN FEEL WHEN A FLY IS SITTING ON MY LEGS, THAT’S HOW MUCH SENSATION I HAVE. I JUST CAN’T WALK BECAUSE MY ABDOMINAL MUSCLES ARE STILL DEAD.”
Kulati believes that he can walk again if he was given the necessary medical support. He specifically mentioned Aurora Special Care Centre.
“THE BEST THING FOR ME TO LEARN TO WALK AGAIN IS TO BE INSIDE A SWIMMING POOL. WATER EXERCISE DOES WONDERS FOR THE BODY, ESPECIALLY THE ABDOMINAL MUSCLES. IF ONLY I HAD A WAY OF USING A SWIMMING POOL AND SOMEONE TO HELP ME, I KNOW THAT I’LL BE ABLE TO WALK AGAIN.”
Despite the difficulties, Max Kulati is going to continue to compete on stage and train as a bodybuilder. He will serve as an inspiration to those in the same position or anyone who believes they are not meant to do something.
“I’LL BE PARTICIPATING IN A COMPETITION AGAIN SOON AND MIGHT COMPETE ABROAD AGAIN. TEAM MAX HAS BEEN HELPING ME BY DOING FUNDRAISERS SO THAT I COULD TRAVEL TO COMPETITIONS. I AM GRATEFUL THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE STANDING BEHIND ME EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.”