Lira Opens Up About Her Recovery After Suffering A Stroke
Renowned musician Lira has faced significant challenges over the past 14 months following a stroke that left her unable to speak, read, or write. However, in a candid interview with Radio 702 presenter Relebogile Mabotja on a segment called The Upside of Failure, the Hamba hitmaker discussed her journey of recovery and her life after the stroke.
Positive Progress in Her Recovery
Lira, who is 44 years old, shared with her friend and neighbor, Relebogile, that she is content with her progress. She expressed her surprise at how much she has improved, stating, “I get surprised with how much progress I’m making and today is a good day.”
Diagnosis of Aphasia
It was revealed that Lira was diagnosed with aphasia, a language disorder resulting from damage to specific brain regions responsible for language. The stroke, which occurred in Frankfurt, Germany, had damaged her language center. However, the German doctors assured her that she could regain her ability to speak with time and dedicated effort.
Learning to Speak Again
Following her stroke, Lira began speech therapy in Germany before continuing her journey to recovery in Johannesburg. She described the challenges she faced during therapy, having to relearn basic elements of speech, such as forming the alphabet and putting words together, akin to a child learning to speak for the first time.
The Feel Good songstress celebrated every milestone in her recovery, including the ability to say her full name, Lerato. Though she could say “Lira,” saying “Lerato” proved more difficult due to differences in language.
Obstacles in Finding the Right Speech Therapist
Lira expressed her struggle in finding an IsiZulu or Sesotho speech therapist, as her language center was damaged, and she had received her therapy in English. As a result, she became proficient in speaking English, but it proved more challenging to articulate words in Zulu and Sotho.
Her Gift of Song Remains Untouched
While Lira faced challenges with her speech, she confirmed that her ability to sing was not affected by the stroke. Her singing abilities remained intact; however, she needed to practice more to improve her enunciation of words.
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