On a mission to make wellbeing as accessible as amapiano

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The only stokvel where losses are gains. Photo: Supplied
The only stokvel where losses are gains. Photo: Supplied


Actress Lwazilubanzi Mthembu is looking to launch what she is calling a weight-loss stokvel to encourage people to lose weight and feel better about themselves and the skin they’re in.

The apparently religious star of the small screen says:

The idea of the Good Health Stokvel came to me after a long New Year’s fast. I was tired of living a life of chasing and I wanted God to lead me to a life of stillness. Little did I know what would come of that request. I thought God would tell me about Netflix films or international horizons, but, instead, he told me about health.

“So, naturally, I sat with it, convinced myself of how unqualified I was to help others, and tried to put out the flame. Meanwhile, the joke was on me; God obviously turned up the volume.”

The stroke her sister suffered a few years back also plagued her mind and inspired this shift in focus.

The 31-year-old recalls: “I thought of the stroke my sister suffered, the death of my father, and all the lifestyle illnesses that are rife in my family and many other black homes. All this interest led me to research and, honestly, at that point it was too late to run. I decided to start with the woman in the mirror and find my confidence on the move.”

Mthembu explains how the Good Health Stokvel is geared at ensuring an obesity-free South Africa in our lifetime.

She says the programme is certainly not for those who are looking for miracle, quick-fix weight loss, but is rather for those who have tried other means to shed kilos and know just how multidimensional the burden of excess body weight can be.

“The Good Health Stokvel is a tool to help you tackle weight from a psychological, emotional, physical and practical standpoint. Studies show that much of the struggles of weight lie in the mind, and that informs the decisions we make.

The Good Health Stokvel is aware of this and aims to tackle obesity beyond a 12-week challenge. It helps ordinary South Africans make better lifestyle choices, better informed nutritional choices and a transformation for generations to enjoy.

It took Mthembu just under two years to action the Good Health Stokvel, from the time of her revelatory fast.

“I too was battling with my own weight. I got a dietician, Lionel Letswalo, and he honestly has been my greatest motivator through it all. He has taught me so much about patience and what it really takes to transform your life, and, trust me, it looks nothing like those crazy rapid diets.

“I then joined the team at the Spiral Aloe Health & Wellness lifestyle medical clinic as their ambassador, and the relationship with [founder] Dr Mothomang Diaho has allowed for me to dive deeply into the diverse needs of South Africans who are suffering from obesity and other lifestyle illnesses.

I am hoping to put on a light that has been dimmed in many South African homes. Wellness has become so elite, so far away from the everyday South African. In fact, our staples have been demonised and health has been made to seem like a sport only for the rich and famous. I hope to make health as accessible as amapiano, and lifestyle diseases a thing of the past.

Mthembu expresses gratitude to her siblings and her House of Zwide cast mates for supporting her through her own journey of weight loss.

“The greatest challenge I face now is that of funding. I would like to on-board South African women in January,” she said, as 68% of South African women are overweight.

The venture will launch a kick-starter programme for men and women of all ages tomorrow.

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