Wheelchair bodybuilder 'Max' Kulati shines at first World Cup

The wheelchair bodybuilder had needed assistance to get to Gauteng to live out his dream of making a mark in the body building World Cup and thanks to various individuals and organisiations, the single father of three made it onto the big stage.

Wheelchair bodybuilder Macethandile "Max" Kulati. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - "Uitenhage's number 1 disabled champ is coming home with the victory," said Macethandile "Max" Kulati on his Facebook page.

Kulati took part in the IBBF World Cup on Sunday at the Emerald Resort and Casino in Vanderbijlpark.

"The competition was a dream come true for me and I won 2nd place in my very first World cup" he said to Eyewitness News on Monday.

The wheelchair bodybuilder had needed assistance to get to Gauteng to live out his dream of making a mark in the body building World Cup and thanks to various individuals and organisiations, the single father of three made it onto the big stage.

"I'm grateful to everyone who helped me, thank you to African Pioneers Foundation for sponsoring me. Thanks to Thobeka Pasiya, CSI Manager, Mr Dondolo the CEO, Mr Faltein and Mr Johannes who helped each other to organise all this for me."

READ: Wheelchair bodybuilder 'Max' Kulati dreams of competing at Mr Olympia

The powerlifting champion, who is now trying to make his mark as a bodybuilder, said his favourite moment was receiving a much-needed wheelchair from the IBFF Africa president Arnie Williams while on stage.

"This was the best moment for me. I've already won just by receiving this wheelchair and guess who brought it, the Viper himself. Thanks, Mr president, and thanks to all those people who've help to get this new Ferrari for me. May God bless you all. IBFF SA, we are family and family takes care of each other, no matter what."

Kulati said coming second in his first show was great, but added that he wanted to be better and therefore he must go back to the drawing board and work hard so that he can come back and steal the show.

"It was my first show, and I've placed 2nd. So, I need to go back to gym, work hard and come back better next year."

He said he looked forward to getting home and bonding with his children as he had spent a lot of hours at the gym ahead of the weekend's World Cup.

The man, who hopes to one day compete at Mr Olympia - the world’s most prestigious bodybuilding competition, said he didn't have enough words to thank everyone who had been helping him. He hopes to continue to make them proud by putting in the hard work.

"I just want to thank them all for supporting met through everything. Some of them took their last money to donate to me. I'm really grateful to have people like you in my heart and yes, God blesses those hands that blessed me to go to the World Cup. Even for those who couldn't give something, I just want to say by wishing me luck, was all the blessings that I wanted and God bless you.

"And also thanks to Rochelle van der Bank, Rene, Tracy and Mr Arnie for organising the wheelchair for me. Also, to all those athletes and people who've help to raise funds."

The wheelchair bodybuilder acquired his disability in 2014, he slipped and fell at a butchery he was working in and at the time, he thought nothing of it.

A couple of weeks later, the man from KwaLanga in the Eastern Cape experienced a numb sensation in his legs.

“I went to a doctor who gave me an injection in my back, assuring me it would solve the problem. I felt better and went home. I went to sleep and when I woke up, I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t understand it. I had no sensation in my legs, and they felt cold.”

Kulati, who grew up playing soccer, rugby and dancing, was referred to Livingstone Hospital in Gqeberha where he had multiple tests.

“Doctors told me there was a growth in my spine that affected my nervous system. I underwent medical procedures, but my nervous system was damaged, and I was left paralysed from my waist down."

He previously told Eyewitness News that one day, he would make history and the whole world would know him.

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