COMEDIAN Cura says he is working to set up a cancer awareness project to educate Basotho about the killer disease and the importance of regular testing.
Himself a stage two cancer patient, Cura told the weekender that several people keep dying because of lack of knowledge about the disease.
Cura was diagnosed with leukemia last June and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Mangaung Hospital in Bloemfontein.
Leukemia is cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. It exists in several forms and some forms are more common in children while others occur mostly in adults. Leukemia usually involves the white blood cells.
Born Makara Mapuru in 1974, Cura grew up in Mohalalitoe in Maseru and ventured into comedy in 1998 and has been one of the most popular comedians and local radio presenters in the country since then.
Cura said before his diagnosis, he could not have known he had cancer if he had not been tested and was not feeling any pain.
“As much as I was not feeling any pain, I realised that I was changing and I started having persistent fatigue and would drink energy drinks oblivious of the fact that I was worsening my problem,” Cura said.
He said at the time, he was also losing weight and suffering from frequent infections and he knew then that he was unwell.
Cura said his frequent visits to the doctor each time he experienced ill health were fruitless but he did not worry because at the time, he did not understand what it was.
He said in June 2018 he was then tested and was told he had stage one cancer but due of the long list of Basotho patients suffering from the same disease, he did not start his treatment immediately.
It was only much later when he was told that leukemia was dangerous and he had to get treatment quickly that he was transferred to Bloemfontein where he then started his treatment.
He told the paper that he has gone through nine chemotherapy sessions and is left with only two.
Cura said the idea of the awareness campaign initiative came after his diagnosis when he realised the dangers of cancer and how ignorant Basotho are about the disease.
“I will be going to different districts to talk to people about my experience with cancer and the importance of testing,” he said adding that he will be working with other cancer victims and survivors who will also talk about the kind of cancers they were diagnosed with.
Cura said a lot of people especially men, are scared of testing and some only seek treatment when the disease has reached an irreversible stage.
“Just like a car, people should service their bodies. Going for tests for different diseases is important as it keeps a person up to date about their health,” he said.
Cura said while he cannot dispute the belief that traditional doctors can heal every ailment, he said it was important to seek medical attention for cancer.
“Lesotho has a lot of cancer patients but it seems as if they take it lightly yet when one is at stage four it gets even harder to treat.”
The comedian said some people are also secretive about their sicknesses and with the awareness initiative, he wants to teach Basotho that testing is cheaper than treatment hence it is better to know while it is still early than having to know when it is too late.
Just after a recent comedy show held to help raise funds for Cura’s treatment, the first lady, ‘Maesaiah Thabane offered him a chance to go to India for treatment and he said he will be leaving as soon as soon as he is done with his current treatment in Bloemfontein.