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News - Date: 07 August 2020
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“Covid-19 is real. I consider myself lucky to be counted among the survivors of this worldwide pandemic. I thank the Lord because today I am healed and I’m back on my feet again – leading a normal life.”
These are the words of reggae music star Elijar Sithole (46), better known as Don Dada in the entertainment industry.
Sithole, who stays at Malavuwe village outside Thohoyandou, opened his heart about his experience of contracting and defeating the coronavirus. He is a professional nurse at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in Gauteng.
The singer said he had flu-like symptoms, but the situation became serious when one of his colleagues at work tested positive for Covid-19. “I then decided to test on Wednesday, 24 June, and my results came back two days after, confirming that I was positive for the virus. The hospital management arranged for me to be housed at the Eskom Quarantine Centre in Midrand, where I spent 14 days.”
He said his health underwent a drastic change while he was at the quarantine centre. “I suffered from a serious headache and I lost my senses for smell and taste. I then suffered from mild flu and I felt as if my body was burning. Although I was not well, I made sure that I exercised daily and drank ginger tea mixed with honey three times a day, to boost my immune system. I also made sure that I ate oranges and lemons every day.
“I thank God because my symptoms were mild, and I did not experience any problems with my breathing system. Besides that, health care workers would provide us with medication, depending on the symptoms that one was feeling at the time. I was also advised to spend at least one hour a day in the sunlight. The health care workers did a wonderful job and I thank them for being on the frontline during these difficult times.”
Sithole said he kept on praying every day to ask God to spare his life. “One night while I was sleeping at the quarantine centre, I had a dream in which I visualised my own funeral. In the dream, family members and friends were crying uncontrollably when my coffin was lowered into the ground. After that dream, I spent two nights without sleeping because I could not understand what it meant. However, I kept on praying, telling God that I still wanted to live. My prayers were answered because after 10 days, the symptoms started to disappear one by one. After 14 days, I went for another test and I was cleared of the virus. I am now negative and I’m back to work, doing what I like most – to save people’s lives.”
The artist, who released his debut album entitled One Africa last year, said he was lucky because he was not stigmatised by those close to him. “Everyone was supportive and I’m grateful for their support. Even when I returned to work, I did not have any problems. I am living a normal life again, and I thank God that He has given me a second chance to live. We hear many Covid-19 deaths across the world daily, but I was lucky to survive and tell this testimony.”
He encourages everyone to practice the highest form of hygiene and precautionary measures against the spread of the coronavirus. “This disease is here, and it kills. Government has done everything to protect us and it is now in our hands to save our lives. We should wash our hands with water and soap timeously. If there is no water around, let us make sure that we sanitize after touching things that are touched by many people, including trolleys in the shops. Wearing masks in public places and social distancing should be our way of life. Covid-19 is here, and it does not discriminate. I never thought it would happen to me, until I experienced it. Let us keep safe at all times.”
Prolific reggae music star Elijar Sithole (46), better known as Don Dada, is a survivor of Covid-19. Photo supplied.