'I'm grateful to be here'- Xolani Gwala returns to radio after cancer battle

Xolani Gwala
Image: Lesley Mofokeng

Xolani Gwala returned to the airwaves on Thursday afternoon for the first time since being diagnosed with colon cancer last year.

The radio veteran announced in September that he would be off-air as he fought the disease.

It was revealed by 702 station manager in July that Gwala was officially in remission and was recovering well.

Fans were pleasantly surprised when it was revealed on Thursday afternoon that Gwala would be standing in for Joanne Joseph for the next two weeks.

In an emotionally-charged comeback‚ Gwala told 702 listeners he was grateful to be back and to be doing what he loves.

"I'm grateful to be here‚ I've got so much to be grateful for. I'm grateful for my wife‚ Peggie Sue‚ I'm grateful for my kids‚ for my friends. I'm grateful for my father‚ who couldn't stand to see me in hospital and had a stroke‚" he said.

Gwala said even though the past year was difficult for him and his family‚ the love he received kept him going.

"The past year has been extremely difficult‚ but life is like that‚ I don't know where I'll be tomorrow‚ but today I am grateful to be here. I met a lot of people in hospital‚ and these are people who are going through so much themselves‚ but would tell me they were praying for me. It is a life-changing thing and it will take me a lifetime to understand what happened over the past year."

Gwala thanked his doctors for doing everything they could to save his life‚ but said it would take a while before he could say he was cancer free.

"It will take probably fives years‚ 10 years even and maybe 15. But at the moment‚ whatever the doctors set out to do in September last year when I was diagnosed with stage four cancer‚ they have achieved all of those goals."

Mayor Herman Mashaba called in and expressed joy over hearing Gwala's voice on the radio.

"My heart is filled with such joy. Your health took most of us with total surprise. Every time I went to church you were always in my prayer."

Gwala sat down with Azania Mosaka minutes before he took over the mic for the Afternoon Drive‚ where he also opened up about the weeks that led up to him being diagnosed with cancer.

Listen to the full interview here:

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