Photo Credit: Unsplash

With World Diabetes Day around the corner, Sweetlife is raising awareness about the 5 signs of diabetes and asking the public to wear blue to honour those living with Type 1 and 2 diabetes.


South Africa (01 November 2023) –  It’s a simple idea – but a powerful one. What if every school and workplace in South Africa wore blue for diabetes on World Diabetes Day? Imagine the conversations we could start, the awareness we could spread, the difference we could make for the 1 in 2 South Africans currently undiagnosed with diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes symptoms are easy to miss in children. That’s why Sweet Life Diabetes Community launched the Wear Blue for Diabetes campaign in November 2021.

Do you know the 5 common symptoms of diabetes? Would you know what to look for in a child with Type 1 diabetes? For most parents (and many teachers), the answer is no. But Sweet Life is looking to change that this year with #WearBlueForDiabetes.

We all know the terrifying stats: Diabetes is the number one killer of women in South Africa, and the second leading cause of death in men. 1 in 2 people with diabetes is undiagnosed.

So, what can we do?

South Africa needs a mass diabetes awareness drive. Sweetlife wants the whole of South Africa to wear blue on World Diabetes Day, Tuesday 14th November 2023.

Why? So that every South African will know the 5 symptoms of diabetes.

The 4 voices for this campaign – Bridget McNulty, Salih Hendricks, Siyabonga Zuma and Helga Nefdt -encompass 4 different lived experiences with diabetes. Type 1, Type 2, public-private, young and old, male and female, with complications and without.

They all have the same message: #WearBlueforDiabetes & Know the 5.

What are the 5?

These are the 5 symptoms that could mean you have Diabetes:
1. Hunger
2. Thirst
3. Needing to Pee
4. Blurry Vision
5. Exhaustion

Sweetlife needs your help to turn South Africa blue!

The organisation has 4 fascinating and diverse stories about life with diabetes – Bridget is South Africa’s leading voice for diabetes, following a devastating diagnosis. Salih was diagnosed as a teenager, had emergency surgery on his honeymoon, and looked after his health but still had to have an amputation at 55. Siyabonga’s sister was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a year before he was, but he still lived a double life for years because of stigma. And Helga’s diabetes journey began with gestational diabetes but she kept her diabetes a secret until 5 years ago.

They are all ready to share their stories with you.

Find out more at and please help us turn SA blue!

Sources: Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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