Posted on 22/11/2016

Caleb Mutombo is incredibly charming. The 19-year-old has a megawatt smile, dancing eyes and a personality and determination that far exceed what one would expect from someone with a 37kg frame - and sickle-cell anaemia.


The Grade 11 pupil is passionate about bodybuilding, and on Saturday he placed third in his category in the Summer Superbodies competition. He'd been training hard, practising his poses with his coach, Ryan Manthe.


Born with sickle-cell anaemia, a condition in which the body produces misshapen red blood cells, Mutombo came to South Africa with his family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo when he was two for medical treatment.

His disorder affects his arms, legs, hands and shoulders, but that hasn't stopped him from taking part in a sport the exponents of which are characterised by physical strength and perfection.

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Caleb Mutombo, who is 19 years old, 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 now lives at Kids Haven, an orphanage east of Johannesburg. Mutombo has a few physical disabilities affecting his arms, legs, hands and shoulders.

Designed by Tanya van der Walt