“‘I don’t want to see another young person die from colon cancer because they did not have enough information about it.”
These were the words of Thembeka Ouma Mjongile, the mother of the late former ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile, who died last year after a short battle of colon cancer.
Ms Mjongile made this statement on Friday November 12 when the Songezo Mjongile Foundation held a colon cancer awareness campaign at Gugulethu Mall.
Colorectal cancer is a cancer that occurs in the rectum or colon, which is the large intestine or bowel.
“I wish that people can look after their health, especially young men because they do not take care of their health. Young men are quite reluctant to visit healthcare facilities to check their health.
“I hope the foundation will educate young people especially black people about colon cancer because they tend to take things lightly or think that it is witchcraft,” she said.
Songezo’s younger sister, Zuziwe Mjongile Dumile, who is the chief operating officer of the foundation, said the aim of the event was to raise awareness about colon cancer as well as of the foundation.
They particularly wanted to educate young people about cancer.
Their key message, said Ms Dumile, was that cancer could kill – but it could be beaten if diagnosed early. And the only way this could be done was if people went for regular health screenings.
They also wanted to address many myths that are associated with cancer, particularly in black communities.
“A lot of people know that cancer does kill you but they are clueless about colon cancer. I urge people to take care of their health,”she said.
The foundation will be officially launched in Johannesburg on Tuesday November 23.