l am a from Africa, East Africa, Tanzania. I’ve been Diabetic and study Nutrition because l wanted to know what to eat and how to eat. It gave self confidence. l am confident to stand up and say l am Type one Diabetic, and this gave a chance to reach out to people, especially the young people, because research done before shows that young people in Tanzania are at risk of being Diabetic .This is why l took a step to spread Diabetes Awareness through Social Media like Instagram and Facebook. l have created a page called “@ijue_kisukaru” which means “get to know diabetes”. l always look for a media airtime just to get a chance to raise and spread Diabetes Awareness and inspire people through my Diabetes experience. I am a student, doing Masters of Mass Communication, am in my final parts in my research and also l am a diabetes educator, Nutritionist and Advisor. l counsel people with diabetes, me being Diabetic was not an excuse for me not doing good in my studies. My plan is to have a diabetes centre which can provide Diabetes Awareness, and over come all the challenges we are facing. I have produced a radio show called “CHANGES” which is about to inspire and teach people how to change their life and live healthy. I believe l am Diabetic for a reason.
What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
Most of the people when they hear about my story they really want to know how l knew l have diabetes, because l was not born with it. l had food poison then l survived the poison but after two weeks l started experiencing diabetes signs. l called my mama and told her l think l have diabetes, yeah so l always respond it like ” l think God showed me”
Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
Yes, like my friends think that l can not have fun just because l am diabetic, or they think l can not eat some good food and the end of the day, l am like, see…I am okay and l am enjoying my life.
How do you inspire others?
Through my Diabetes story. l have been in Diabetes Coma like two times, the first time was for three weeks and the second was for two days, but that made me strong and more okay, and l always tell people in my community that Diabetes is not a disease its just a condition that l am living with.
Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
Well, negative side, its made me delay finishing school. l had to repeat like four times,then it is so hard to get a job just because l am diabetic and this is a big challenge for me because insulin is so expensive and the income of my mama is too low, Positive side, it has made me be who l am now, l am living a very healthy life of watching what l am eating, doing physical exercise, and made me reach out to people who need my help.
How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
Mentally,it has made me realize that l am responsible for my health well being.
Physically, it has made be more flexible to live in every kind of lifestyle and any where.
Emotionally, it has made feel l have a part to play in every one’s life.
Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
l rather fight one horse, because maybe l might save myself and others and l might make a chance.