We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

WATCH | Lillian Dube: Cancer gave me life

Veteran actress Lillian Dube is in remission for the second time in her long-battle with breast cancer.

The star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and said that she was preparing to die.

"The first time (I was diagnosed) I really thought I was going to die. I thought that I was going to die and I was sad. I remember standing on my balcony like I always do and the breeze felt heavenly. I thought‚ 'I am going to miss this.' I was going to miss my grandchildren and the car guards at Cresta Mall (in Johannesburg) who told me I wouldn't die because they were praying for me.

"There were so many people who were praying for me that I ended up praying for myself. I said‚ 'God. You cannot disappoint all these people that are praying for me. I am adding my voice'."

She said that those around her gave her confidence and gave her a new purpose in life.

Even when Lillian was diagnosed with the disease for the second time she believed that it would not defeat her.


Even after battling cancer twice and going through debilitating depression‚ the devout Christian did not ask God why she was constantly taken to death's door.

"Cancer is better. You are still alive. I mean you are still functioning. With depression you do not even want to go to work. It can be light outside but it is midnight to you. Your reality is so distorted that you believe nothing will ever work for you again. You are beyond death. It was the worst experience of my life.

"I have never asked God why me? As much as I hate depression‚ once you have overcome it you are so much stronger. The world is beautiful. You have compassion. You empathise. Even with cancer‚ if you ask me what's the best thing that has happened to my life I will tell you that it was getting cancer. Cancer gave me life."


Lillian revealed that she spent nearly half a million rand on medical costs fighting cancer and exhausted her private medical aid funds.

"It was very expensive. My medical aid was exhausted. Every time I went to the doctor I had to pay R24‚324. I still remember. The sad story is that public hospitals give people chemo knowing it won't help their case so I started marching for better treatment."

Ever since then the TV personality has been tirelessly working to create more awareness about breast cancer and mental illness. She added that government and the private sector should do more to help educate people.

"If you want to kill any nation‚ you don't need weapons‚ you just need to deprive them of an education. If you are educated you know how to deal with health issues. Ignorance can kill you. In black communities‚ if you had a stroke because of high blood pressure‚ you are bewitched. That is ignorance. We go to these charismatic churches and pray for money. Who does that? It is ignorance."

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.