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Zandile Signoria Mzayifani, Type 2 diabetes, South Africa (02:56)

The hardest part for Zandile to accept was not that she had a chronic condition, it was the fact that she needed to take medication. Zandile’s fear and confusion about starting treatment for type 2 diabetes made her depressed and put her at risk:

”I didn’t want to live on medication. I thought that was for the older mamas and I’m still young. I want my business to grow bigger and my children to have a successful life.”

Zandile was 31 when she was diagnosed. She was determined to fight diabetes by herself and without medical help.

”My sister died of diabetes. Diabetes is a thief: it can steal your life while you sleep. Who would take care of my children and the job I do in my home? I need to be strict with my diet, that’s what I said to myself.”

But she soon realised that diabetes is not just any condition: ”I learned that you need to take care of yourself, and take your medication. Now I have that knowledge, and have accepted it, I feel good.”

Before her acceptance, Zandile struggled in her daily routines. She often arrived at work late and exhausted:

”It felt like pulling a whole big bag with me.”

With support from the doctors and nurses at her local clinic, Zandile has taken control of her lifestyle and her treatment routine. ”I needed to change,” she admits. ”I needed to take my medicine, change my lifestyle, change to having my own business and change from eating junk food to healthy food. I needed to change in order to have all the things I want.”

Today, Zandile is feeling the benefits in her business as well as in her body. Empowered by feeling physically well again, she has started her own healthy sandwich business from her home in the Langa Township of Cape Town.

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