A deadly di­ag­no­sis

Pas­tor Mdlet­she has been too busy car­ing for his flock to take care of his body.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - UZALO -

When Pas­tor Mdlet­she (Glen Ga­bela) started feel­ing shaky on Tues­day 4 De­cem­ber, who could have ex­pected this skinny whip­pet of a man to walk out of the doc­tor’s of­fice on Wed­nes­day 5 De­cem­ber with a di­a­betes di­ag­no­sis! But you don’t need to tip the scale to get di­a­betes. On Tues­day 13 Novem­ber,

Mkhonto (Bonga Dlamini) taunt­ingly warned Nkunzi, “A man shouldn’t stress so much over work. You’ll get di­a­betes. It’s very bad!” He has a point – and between the church board and his fam­ily’s is­sues, the pas­tor has been wear­ing him­self thin lately. Lit­er­ally.


With un­ex­plained weight-loss be­ing one of the pos­si­ble warn­ing signs of di­a­betes, be­hind the scenes the ac­tor worked on mak­ing his char­ac­ter look ill long be­fore these scenes were shot. “I did a bit of re­search into the signs of this ail­ment that af­fects him,” says Glen. “I de­lib­er­ately tried to put my­self in that sit­u­a­tion to go out and look sickly. And I would starve my­self and I lost a bit of weight and it re­flected. They called me from Joburg and said, “Even my friends are com­plain­ing. Have you lost weight? Are you ill?”


Glen was pre­pared to suf­fer for his art to en­cour­age Uzalo’s view­ers to take bet­ter care of their bod­ies. “Hope­fully it will open view­ers’ eyes. Few men even bother to go for reg­u­lar check­ups un­til it’s too late. I don’t know when last I went to see a doc­tor my­self. And di­a­betes is like can­cer – it’s a silent killer. You never recog­nise the signs. You feel tired, but maybe you think, ‘I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.’ I am hop­ing that it’s a wake-up call to all of us to be more con­cerned about our health and do reg­u­lar check-ups,” he ex­plains.


Af­ter his di­ag­no­sis, the pas­tor is pre­pared to dig him­self an early grave. “If it’s God’s will for me for this ail­ment to take me from this Earth, so be it,” re­veals Glen. But his sis­ter Gabisile (Baby Cele) isn’t hav­ing it. “She gets on his nerves! She has a son who is a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner and she con­sults with him with­out Mdlet­she’s ap­proval,” says Glen. “It causes con­flict within the fam­ily be­cause she in­sists that even if she has to take care of him like a child, she will do it with­out hes­i­ta­tion. It brings out the stub­born­ness in him. Male ego,” Glen ad­mits rue­fully.

Pas­tor Mdlet­she’s Di­a­betes di­ag­no­sis could be a death sen­tence if he doesn’t take care of him­self.

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