Masike opens up on bulging belly

AFRO-FUSION songbird and mbira player Hope Masike yesterday opened up on her battle with fibroids as she sought to dispel rumours that she could be pregnant after posting pictures showing a bloated, which she said was one of the signs of the disease.

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

Fibroids, which afflict a lot of women, are tumours that grow in and/or around the uterus.

The musician said she decided to open up on the health challenge to create awareness and support systems for many women affected by fibroids.

She said “that big belly forms part of the equation” and she was keen to reach out to other women who have been suffering in silence because of the condition.

“I would like us to sit and reflect on a condition that is affecting many women, most of whom suffer in silence, many of whom are thought to be pregnant or eating unhealthy when they are not,” she said in a statement shared on her Facebook page.

“I am one of those women. The story is that I am not pregnant at all, instead, I have fibroids; tumours that grow in and/or around the uterus.”

Masike said she has had the condition for many years and it has been a source of distress.

“They are such an under-studied area, perhaps simply because ordinarily, they are non-cancerous so many people think they don’t cause damage. They are also very myth-clouded perhaps because… we are a very superstitious lot. They are also rarely openly spoken of; obviously, because it’s hard to bring difficult personal issues to public spaces,” she said.

The musician said the condition, however, caused a lot of psychological pain, leading to under-performance in many areas of life.

The mbira star urged men to join the fight against fibroids, adding that many women were suffering in silence.

“I know for a fact that many women are suffering from them in silence. Many are silently falling prey to fake herbalists, traditional healers and prophets with wrong medicines. Many are also assumed pregnant or eating unhealthy (as you did with me here). Many of us still rather prefer to go through it very privately. And that’s good. But I decided to share it,” she said.

She said she decided to use her influence as a celebrated mbira player and singer to shed more light on the condition and rally women affected by fibroids together and create awareness and support for each other.

Masike urged women with the condition to open up and share their stories on her social media platforms or her private inbox in order to fight the condition.

“So, I am inviting any woman who is or has suffered from fibroids to please share your story with me, here publicly, if you like or privately in my inbox. I need psychological support and I believe by sharing our different stories, we can offer psychological support to each other. We don’t have to blindly do this alone. No names will be mentioned if you so wish,” she said.

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