On the 20th of August 2016, a high tea was held at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria to celebrate women and people living with diabetes. The Bongi Ngema-Zuma foundation was founded in the year of 2010. The vision of the foundation is to see a South Africa where diabetes ceases to be a killer due to lack of awareness.
The ACWA (Africa-Chinese Women’s Association) was present at the event to also celebrate what the Foundation has achieved thus far and also celebrating women’s month.
The Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation raised funds for the foundation by auctioning two enthralling paintings that Madam Bongi Ngema-Zuma collected all over the world. The auctioned paintings were both sold for an astounding R21 500 and the second one for R7000 – all proceedings go straight to the Foundation.
According to diabetes.org – Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. This is because your pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, or not enough insulin, to help glucose enter your body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).
There was a clinical trials; Diabetology and Epidemiology expect Ms. Kerry Kalweit who was invited by the BNZ Foundation to share her experience as an individual living with Type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed 13 years ago. I had the opportunity to interview her and this is what she said:
As a person that is living with diabetes, how has it changed your life?
It has inspired me to get involved with people who are living with diabetes. It is now my career and passion in life to be an inspiration to those living with diabetes. Not being the first person from my family to be diagnosed with diabetes. When I was diagnosed, I wasn’t that shocked because I knew that at some point in time I might be diagnosed.
People With Diabetes Need To Empower Themselves By Going And Finding Education. Online Platforms Can Be Their Source And Take A Proactive Approach In Their Condition.
Kerry currently works for a NPO (Non-Profit Organization) called Youth with Diabetes, they run camps for diagnosed children across South Africa, have support groups and mostly give awareness about diabetes (schools being their main target).
Since the event was aimed at women and empowerment, there was a special guest by the name of Mama Emma Mashinini who was a respected human rights activist and was honoured for the time she served during the apartheid era. She also celebrated her 87th Birthday Party on the same day of the high tea.
When we (myself and other media personnel’s) about the Foundation and the main highlight of the hats and heels high-tea she stated: Diabetes does not exist in isolation, there are socio-economic issues that also act as diseases. We have 3 pillars in our strategy – health, education and empowerment in development which include women and children.
The high tea was more about empowering women economically, improving their health and being educated about the chronic disease namely: diabetes. The Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation gave their thanks to various established companies and individuals that have significantly contributed towards the foundation.