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Diabetes is not a Death Sentence!

By Mzukona Mantshontsho

“We must act on Diabetes now, today and Diabetes is not a death sentence”. These were the encouraging words from Diabetes Ambassador Bongi Ngema-Zuma.

“Before 1994 and after, we blamed everyone and governments for anything that was not going well in our lives, I am here to say to everyone present here, we have no one to blame for diseases, sadly,” she added.

“Nitjele abanye bahlolwe – loosely translated to – tell others to get tested. There is really no excuse for us as a society to be ignorant about our health. My vision and our vision at Bongi Ngema-Zuma (BNZ) Foundation, which was established in 2010, is to see a South Africa where Diabetes seizes to be a death sentence and people getting tested and knowing their health issues”.

“BNZ Foundation was founded because my mother lived with diabetes for over 20 years. If my mother fought and lived with diabetes for that long, so can all of us as a country, if we know about the disease, know the symptoms and adopt healthy lifestyles, we will live longer, and diabetes will no longer be a death sentence. It is also disturbing that in a small town in the Free State with a population of around 160,000 people in 2011, 13,000 people died. For me, that number is too high,” she added.

“Statistics from the International Diabetes Federation have said there are around 370 million people with Diabetes in the World. In South Africa, we have between 4-6 million people with diabetes and 50% of those are not even aware that they are living with diabetes,” said Ngema-Zuma.

“You don’t have to be educated and sophisticated to fight diseases. Vegetable gardens will do the trick for our small communities. Let’s eat more greens, let’s have less of porridge with our daily meals. Let us also exercise regularly,” concluded Ngema-Zuma.


Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity. Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them. Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS. Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.

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