All Aboard for CANSA 90th – Vuyokazi Memani-Sedile Chairperson CANSA Board
Vuyokazi Memani-Sedile, Chairperson Board: “In the words of Madiba ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. The more people we educate the more the word can be spread so that people can get checked for cancer or get treatment earlier.”
What is your key message that you would like to share about CANSA’s 90-year anniversary?
Congratulations to CANSA for attaining 90 years of service and I wish for another 90 years and hopefully by that time we would have attained our dream “World without Cancer”. We must give our gratitude to the founders of CANSA for the initiative that is still going strong 90 years later.
The last few years have been challenging because of the poor economy and compounded by the outbreak of the pandemic, but CANSA has managed to keep the doors open and therefore we are grateful to stakeholders (donors, staff, volunteers etc.) who keep the lights on, because without them CANSA would not have endured for this long. In isiXhosa we say “nangamso” (please do it again in the future). Long Live CANSA!
As we know that most cancers are associated with lifestyle it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle is a choice and all choices have consequences, and therefore good choices lead to better health. I know we all want to enjoy life’s indulgences, but my advice is do everything in moderation. Exercise is also important, choose the sport that makes you happy, so that you look forward to doing it rather than it feeling like an obligation. Go hiking, join a dancing group, spend quiet time doing yoga, etc. My choice of sport is karate. I look forward to those days when I go to the dojo, it picks up my mood and ever since I took it up I no longer have minor body aches.
It is also important to know your body and listen to it when something does not feel right. Do a full body check-up at least once a year, don’t forget cancer screening, especially if there is a history of cancer in your family. In this way you can pick up any abnormalities in time and seek professional help as soon as possible.
Knowledge is power – arm yourself with all the knowledge you can, read about common diseases so that you are able to prevent them if possible or know where to get help when you need it. However be careful that you use reliable sources that have verified information such as those on the CANSA website.
To run a NGO / NPO like CANSA requires resources and we rely on donations, grants and income from some of our services but it is not enough, as we are unable to reach everyone who requires our services. We need your help by making a donation, participating in our fundraising activities or offering your services as a volunteer. Together we can fight cancer!
What service do you think CANSA should expand on in the next 10 years?
Of course education! We have a lot of literature at CANSA, but sadly the people in the deep rural areas still do not get enough of it on time because of lack of platforms to share it. The more people we educate the more the word can be spread so that people can get checked for cancer or get treatment earlier. Some of the things we can do is to expand our sharing on community radios / local newspapers, and provide literature in various South African languages, increasing our volunteer base in those areas where we are not yet prominent.
Which part of CANSA’s service do you admire the most – research, educate, or support?
Education, education, education….! In the words of Madiba, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” When I think about service, it is almost impossible to give services without obtaining knowledge first.
What is your leadership style?
Servant and consultative. Being in a position of leadership means I must serve stakeholders and not see myself as being in authority or having power over others and also that wisdom does not reside with one individual, but everyone has something to offer and that leads to better decision making.
What is your motivation to serve CANSA?
CANSA chose me – when there was a vacancy on the Investment Committee our Investment Advisor who knew me from another organisation approached me and then recommended my name to CANSA, I agreed to come on board. It is my pleasure to serve on the CANSA Board, as to me it is a service to the community. I try as much as possible to give part of my time to good community causes and CANSA is one of them.