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In January 1996 Shelley Barry was 23 and on her way to a job interview in Cape Town when she was caught in the crossfire of taxi violence caused by rival taxi groups battling for ownership of the same routes.

She was sitting next to the taxi driver in the front of his minibus when an assassin pulled up alongside the moving vehicle and opened fire. The driver was shot seven times and was killed instantly and the taxi crashed injuring many of it’s passengers.

Shelley was hit by one of the assassin’s bullets and was instantly paralyzed. Her life hung in the balance and it was assumed she would not survive. The friend she was travelling with was seriously injured but has recovered despite the bullet still being lodged in her chest. Shelly has been in a wheelchair ever since. Today she is 42.

How does one create a life for oneself after something like this? How does one battle to stay positive and find work and meaning once again? Importantly, what happened to Shelley Barry’s dream, held close since childhood, of becoming a filmmaker.

Join this remarkable woman, teacher, activist and filmmaker as she describes her life before and after the shooting.

The life of a young girl who told her childhood friends that one day her films would be on the big screen and achieved it, despite a bullet getting in her way and forcing her to be in a wheelchair for over twenty years.

The life of an activist who worked in the Presidency and has made a significant difference to the lives of the disabled in South Africa.

The deeply spiritual journey of a sensitive, funny and bolshy woman who despite her circumstances is determined to continue making her mark on the world.

Shelley Barry graciously lets us into her world describing the many Leaps of Faith she has taken so far and continues to take each and every day.

You can email Shelley at

Lisa was dressed by Balu/Balu Legacy for this episode.

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