I Choose to Live – a song written and performed by South African singer, presenter actor Tshepo “Howza” Mosese became the official anthem for World Diabetes Day 2010.
In continuing the fight against Diabetes, global healthcare company Novo Nordisk are taking the song further, by hosting the “Changing Diabetes Concert” on 05 November at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg from 12h00 to 16h00.
Taking to the stage, Howza will be supported by other South African greats, DannyK, Kabelo, Madoda, and hip hop group Teargas.
This concert is another innovative outreach by the global diabetes company and forms part of their “Changing Diabetes” campaign – and marks the start of this year’s World Diabetes Day awareness outreach. World Diabetes Day takes place annually on the 14th November and is driven globally by the International Diabetes Federation.
The Novo Nordisk Changing Diabetes Bus, will also be parked on the square – offering free diabetes screening to the public.
Howza, himself a diabetic and also one of the Novo Nordisk Diabetes Youth Ambassodors, continues to use his celebrity and influence to promote the fight against “the silent killer” diabetes by performing at this event and singing his well-known and iconic song “I Choose to Live”. “I wrote and launched this song in 2010 – specifically to raise awareness about diabetes and how our choices affect our health” he says. “This song is about the impact of diabetes on the world and the importance of prevention.”
Alongside this, he knows the importance of targeted messaging around obesity in young people and its proven direct link to diabetes. Howza says he wants to educate people on a healthy lifestyle across the board. “I would like to make a difference in people’s lives by improving awareness and also informing people about healthy living,” he says.
Howza, 27, was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2003. His father had lived with Type 2 Diabetes all his life – yet Howza’s own symptoms were not recognised until his condition was at an advanced stage. This is a common situation experienced by many South Africans due to a lack of awareness and education about diabetes. “When the initial symptoms of diabetes started hitting me, neither my parents nor I thought it could have been the cause,” he says. “We thought that diabetes was something that only happened to older people. This is why awareness and education is so important! This disease can affect people of any age, any race and any sex, but it can be managed and people can live full lives.”
Since his diagnosis Howza has made it one of his life goals to increase awareness and use his music, celebrity and life experience to make a difference in the lives of people living with diabetes.
He is particularly committed to using the opportunity World Diabetes Day (WDD) brings. WDD is a global campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance regarding diabetes and keeps it firmly in the public spotlight.