Veteran actor Jerry Mofokeng wa Makhetha has opened up about his silent battle with cancer after his diagnosis in 2019. The Scandal actor was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019 but took some time to inform his family so he could focus on acting. Here’s an update on Jerry Mofokeng’s battle with cancer.
The award-winning actor spoke with Sowetan about his battle with the vicious disease and why he chose to keep it a secret.
“Last year October I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and I only shared the shocking and devastating news with my family, close friends, and colleagues,” he said.
After being diagnosed he said he was ordered to start his treatment which included five weeks of radiation therapy. At just three weeks he said his doctor informed him that the cancer disappeared and was in remission.
“Even though everyone around me was very worried about my health, I was not because I am spiritually and mentally strong,” said the actor.
The legendary actor said acting was the perfect distraction because of his deep love for the arts, then saved his life. His daily routine included waking up in the early hours in the morning so he could get going with his treatment therapy then go to work.
“I was able to do this because when I’m on set, I feel no pain and looking forward to acting helped me cope with the grueling radiation,” he said.
“I’m sharing this because I want people to believe they can be healed, especially because of the high Covid-19 infection rate. I don’t want people to give up,” he said, adding that his love for acting coupled with Western and herbal medication played a critical role in ensuring he recovers.
The veteran actor is among the handful of ZAlebs who have been diagnosed with cancer with some unfortunately succumbing to the disease.
Zoleka Mandela has survived breast cancer diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago and has had a very public battle with the illness. In fact she has had it twice. She told a publication, “the fact that I have it for the 2nd time is another reason why I proudly live my life creating more of an awareness about it so that it no longer silences women and instead forces them to speak out and educate others (one out of nine women in South Africa will be diagnosed in their lifetime) on the disease because remaining silent will never end the fight! I feel like I I’ve already won the war. I’ve beaten it once and I will beat it again!”
Lilian Dube was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2008 which returned early 2016. She has since dedicated her life and her platform to creating cancer awareness.
“That cancer of mine: remember I had cancer in 2008? Then it came back in 2016. The first time I had a lumpectomy where they removed the lump from my right breast. The second time they had to cut the breast out which is a mastectomy. And recently they found out that my cancer mutates and I need to be on treatment which is expensive and you don’t get it in public hospitals. I know this because I asked my oncologist and it’s bound to cost R500 000! It’s not only the treatment that costs so much but I also have to take tablets for five years and it’s also expensive,” said Dube in an interview with Channel 24. She then added that her Ben 10 helped her through it all.
This deadly disease has claimed the lives of many South African greats. These include former Backstage actor Sibu Radebe, veteran broadcaster Xolani Gwala, Iko Mash, Kwaito Star Mandoza are just some of the local celebrities who have battled with cancer and unfortunately lost their lives.