“I thought I was going to die,” Israel on surviving gangrene


Israel Matseke Zulu opens up on his leg journey before it got amputated and how he’s surviving.

The actor amputated his leg earlier this year after suffering severe pains.

According to Drum, Israel sought medical and traditional help, till his friend advised that he amputate the leg.

“I was shocked as to what is happening to me because that was a very painful shock but it only came once like it was passing. After that I suffered from cold feet, sometimes my feet were stiff, sometimes I would limp and sometimes I would get out of bed in the middle of the night and sit on the couch and I would feel better because when I go to bed the pain would be heavy,” he says.

It was not easy to diagnose what was wrong with him, as people gave different uncertain diagnoses, some traditionalists even claimed he was called to be Sangoma.

“My big toe started to develop something reddish and it was very painful and this redness went from one toe to another. From there I went to a lot of doctors, consultations, and churches and I ended up attending a specialist who deals with gangrene. That was the first time I heard of the name and finally knew what is wrong with me and I had symptoms of gangrene,” he says.

Israel said it’s not easy agreeing to amputate his leg, as he changed his mind several times.

“It is like the feet died while you are alive, looking at it, it became very dark and then it moved apparently. My best friend, who is a doctor, told me to go for amputation. I think I agreed three times and when it was close to the date of doing it, I changed my mind. The fourth time I agreed because my condition was worse, I became critical, and I couldn’t walk.”

The veteran actor claimed to have cried for 7 nights before going through the procedure in a hospital in Mpumalanga.

“I thought I was going to die because some people kept on telling me that I am bewitched, I stepped on umuthi and it got into my body and that will travel to my heart and I will die. But now that I didn’t die, I found an opportunity to live again,” he said.

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