He was just a boy that was going through changes of university, adulthood and relationships. Takunda was finding it difficult to adjust to these pressures but had to soldier on, he would remind himself, that as a man he was supposed to be strong and not succumb to this pressures of life let alone talk about it as everyone back at home saw him as a beacon of hope and their only chance at escaping poverty. This was always a reminder to him that no matter what he had to keep on keeping on.

As if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, TK as his friends called him got sick, he would experience episodes of dry mouth, extreme thirsts, hunger that is unexplainable even after eating. He would frequent the urinary and lost weight. No one except him thought he was sick but rather thought he was abusing drugs or drinking way too much. TK didn’t tell anyone why, because growing up in a patriarchal home where men and  boys through to adulthood are taught to be tough, fight back, not cry even when hurt emotionally, physically or mentally, as a men you are supposed to suck it up and ignore pain even when sick. Talk about gratification of unhealthy habits and ill cultural pressures, unfortunately TK became a victim of circumstances.

Days turned to months but TK didn’t care visit the university clinic, his health deteriorated, unfortunately for him it was a tragedy, one Sunday morning his friends found him lying dead in his room and was confirmed dead. This was heartbreaking to his family as they were told that he had succumbed to Type 1 Diabetes and had a heart attack but he was not aware.

Now TKs mother vowed to herself that she would honor her son and advocate to her community at large about Type 1 diabetes as well as the fatalities of the societal ideologies leading to toxic masculinities, as this will allow the males in the community not to speak out when sick or facing challenges especially health related.

Below is what she would explain to her community about Type 1 Diabetes. 


Type one diabetes which used to be called Juvenile diabetes because it is usually diagnosed in young people, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, According to Mayo Clinic (2021). Dansinger, M.  (2019)  explains that Type 1 Diabetes is a condition in which your immune system destroys  insulin making  cells known as (Beta cells) in your pancreas. And insulin is, according to Felman, A.  (2018)  is ‘’a hormone that is responsible for allowing glucose in the blood to enter cells to provide them with energy to work or to be functional’’. It also assists in breaking down fats or proteins for energy and lack of effective insulin is factor in the development of diabetes. Tk’s mother would explain to her community based on the information she had gathered from the doctor and research which stated that:

The tell tell signs of Diabetes Type 1 are,

  • Dry mouth
  • Extreme thirst
  • Increased hunger even after eating
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplainable weight loss fatigue
  • Blurry vision,
  • Frequent infections of your skin
  • Urinary tract or vigina,
  • Also bet tweeting in children who never used to bed wet
  • Avoid sugar and saturated fats
  • Avoid tobacco use

How to notice emergencies with Type 1 Diabetes,

  • Shaking and confusion
  • Rapid breathing
  • Belly pain
  • A fruity smell to your breath
  • Loss of consciousness but usually rare.

Managing /Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes.

TKs mother would explain to people with type 1 Diabetes that they will need to do the job of the pancreas and replace the insulin via insulin injections or an insulin pump, frequent blood sugar monitoring, eating Healthy foods and exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.

She would conclude on the importance of visiting a doctor for checkups and discussions on  the range of blood glucose level that are right  for Type 1 Diabetes patients as it differs from person to person and their circumstances. She would over emphasize on the importance of talking to someone hen not feeling well when one realizes changes in their physical mental and emotional stature to avoid loss of life through heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, coma cardiovascular disease.


Diabetes Australia, Living with diabetes,>Managing your diabetes>Managing type 1 Diabetes. www.diabetesaustralia.com.au. Accessed on 16 September 2021.

Felman, A.  (2018) An over view of Insulin: Medical News Today. www.medicalnewstoday.com. Accessed on 20 September 2021.

Michael, D. (2019) Type 1 Diabetes. GPC Medical LTD (India) www.webmd.com. Accessed on 20/08/2021.

Mayo Clinic Online (2021) Type 1 Diabetes- Diagnosis and Treatment. www.mayoclinic.org>drc-20353017. Accessed on 21/09/2021.

MacMillan, A. (2020) Complications from Diabetes. Here’s how that happens. www.health.com. Accessed on the 21/09/2021.

Sawa R N, Gao P, Seshasai SR, Gobin, R, KaptogeS, Di Angelantonio etal. Lancet. 2010; 26;375:2215-2222. Diabetes mellitus, fasting blood glucose concentration, and Risk of vascular diseases; a collaborative meta-analysis of 102 prospective studies. Emerging Risk Factrs Collaboration. www.worldhealthorganization.org. Accessed 20/09/2021.