In 2023, Jacaranda FM shared the news that renowned radio personality Bongani Nxumalo started to lose his eyesight.
Nxumalo's vision had deteriorated to about 5%, due to cataracts and other complications. Nxumalo's condition deteriorated so much that he found himself unable to read scripts, drive or work as a radio, voice and performing artist anymore — leaving him destitute, says the station.
Nxumalo shared his story on Jacaranda FM's Breakfast with Martin Bester during the station's Good Morning Angels segment. There, Nxumalo explained that he was assisted through his church men's group to get to a specialist, who believed that some vision could be restored through surgery; but this would cost thousands of rands, which Nxumalo didn't have.
In a bid to help, Jacaranda FM's Good Morning Angels fund pledged to assist with R100 000 towards Nxumalo's eye operations, which will enable him to regain his eyesight and ability to work and provide for his family.
However, showing just how generous Jacaranda FM listeners are, an additional R105 000 was donated after the story was shared, according to the station. This means that R205 000 was raised in assistance.
Nxumalo had a procedure on his one eye late in 2023 and the result was positive. The radio personality now has about 50% vision in his operated eye — a 45% improvement, says the radio station.
Nxumalo can now read larger fonts, which means that he can read the bible and scripts for work again. He has also just returned to the specialist for a follow-up as he had some scarring that needed to heal, says the station.
However, the prospect for his other eye is not great. According to Nxumalo, the Dr will probably focus the treatment and future attention only on the eye that has been operated on.
Nxumalo concludes that he is very happy that he can see again, giving him a much better quality of life, the opportunity to provide for his family again and seeing his wife's face for the first time in a while.
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