Meet some of the Cancervive Survivors

21 August 2018

Cancervive is a survivor-driven cancer awareness and education project that communicates to audiences with means beyond words. Through the use of performing arts, music, poetry, dance and storytelling, we are able to reach people of all backgrounds, regardless of language. 

The Cancervive flagship event is an annual 10-day motorcycle ride across South Africa, where more than 60 cancer survivors, supporters, crew and media embark on a mission to spread awareness, educate, and deliver the message of hope and encouragement to communities along the way. This year Cancervive tackles the Western Cape, travelling to over 25 towns and cities. Towns like Velddrif, Piketberg, Tulbagh and Robertson will all be visited, with survivors heading to schools, hospitals, factories, and more to share their own personal journeys of recovery and lend their care and support to those affected by the disease.

Meet some of the Cancervive Survivors

Mpho Tshabalala: Not your average cancer supporter  

She’s seen the lethal, slow grip of cancer in those she loves, with her husband - one of South Africa’s favourite kwaito musicians, Mduduzi ‘Mandoza’ Tshabalala - passing away from the illness in 2016. She says, “After both the diagnoses I wanted to know more about cancer. It inspired me to want to help people that are diagnosed and help others know where they stand with cancer… by talking about cancer and making sure that I volunteer wherever I can.”  

Lizelle Knott: The story of a 3 x cancer survivor 

Her first diagnosis hit her hard, but she beat her fears because of her (then) 14 month old son, Grayson. She says, “He was only 14 months old at the time of my original diagnosis. I make a conscious decision every day to get up and do whatever I need to do to ensure that I will be around for as long as possible for my little boy,” she finishes, “Grayson will only ever have one mommy.”

Naniki Seboni: She’s here to kick down doors 

Naniki Seboni is one of many cancer survivors that had her and her community’s lack of knowledge about cancer to blame for her late diagnosis. From first symptom to her diagnosis of malignant melanoma (skin cancer - very rare in darker skinned people), was a long and confusing 25 years. She says, “As a 90s kid born in Soweto, cancer was an unknown in my community. When I started having early symptoms, no one took my conditions seriously. So imagine the confusion of a malignant melanoma (skin cancer) diagnosis 25 years later!” 

Raynolda: educating her community about cancer 

“I thought cancer was a death sentence,” says Raynolda Makhutle, a 61 year old survivor of cervical and ovarian cancer. Her illness was a heavy blow to her not just because of the disease’s physical effects - its emotional effects hit her hard, and had a devastating effect on those she loved too.