Latter-day Saint Life

Newest bodybuilding world champ wins title in Church-donated wheelchair

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

One day, Macethandile “Max” Kulati woke up and found that he could not walk. A failed back operation had left him paralyzed.

The previously able-bodied man from Eastern Cape, South Africa, said that he thought his life was over. “Little did I know God was preparing me for a better life and journey,” he said.

Max said he was “stuck in a dark place after the surgery. I just wanted to be left alone and die, but God had other plans.” Through what he views as divine intervention, he met an occupational therapist who helped to find him a wheelchair.

Wheelchairs that can correctly accommodate someone of his taller-than-average height are hard to come by. But The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had set up a program at Max’s local clinic, Uitenhage Provincial Hospital, providing free wheelchairs to the needy and training therapists to correctly fit them to users.

“What I can truly say is God sent the LDS wheelchair my way while I was struggling even to get a wheelchair after the surgery because of my height,” said Max.

Fast forward eight years from when he was rendered disabled and this single father of three from an impoverished informal settlement of Moeggesukkel was recently crowned the World Champion at an International Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation World Championship in Slovenia.

Max, who represented South Africa at the championships, is the first wheelchair-bound bodybuilder from Africa to win the title. Before he went to compete in Slovenia, he won several other titles in South Africa.

For Max, the journey has been a miraculous one.

You can read the Max’s full story of miracles and faith on Church Newsroom.

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