“Weakness Is a Choice”
‘Caleb’s quest for the stage. ‘
19year old, Caleb Mutombo, was born with a sickle-cell disease (SCD), the most common type of which is known as sickle-cell anaemia (SCA). He was born in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and grew up at Kids Haven, an orphanage east of Johannesburg.
Mutombo has a few physical disabilities affecting his arms, legs, hands and shoulders. When he was two his parents, grandmother and younger brother brought him and his elder brother, Kalala Tsihbangu, to South Africa, in search of medical assistance. Kalala was also born with sickle-cell anaemia and died two years ago. Jemima Muside, Caleb’s sister, was a match to donate blood to him, but his brother wasn’t so lucky.
When Caleb was young he started lifting objects and building his muscles because he could not partake in many other sports that his peers were involved with.
He bodybuilds because it gives him a sense of belonging and he feels that it is his way of inspiring people, those with disabilities and those without.
His trainer, Ryan Manthe of Trinergy Health and Fitness Centre, was inspired to help him after seeing him get up on stage with other bodybuilders at a competition in Kempton Park. Manthe is training Caleb to be a personal trainer, a qualification that he feels will give him a steady income.
Caleb was coached on how to pose on stage, by his mentor and personal trainer, Ryan Manthe, of Trinergy Health and Fitness Centre in the days leading up to him competing in the up to 175cm’s under 23 Junior Bodybuilding Category, at The Summer Superbodies Competition, at Maragon School in Ruimsig, Johannesburg. Caleb weighs 37Kg’s. He came third out of three competitors including him but still feels as though it’s a victory.