REGISTERING for her MBA at Wits Business School was a dream realised for Maggie Ditabane but that dream would turn to a nightmare only a month later.
Ditabane started her MBA in January 2016 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a month later.
“My doctor saw tumours and decided to operate immediately, only to find out that they were cancerous,” she said. While recovering from the surgery, Ditabane was faced with the difficult choice of choosing to continue with her MBA or giving up on her dream. With the looming start of six-month long chemotherapy treatment hanging over her like a broody cloud, she chose to continue with her MBA.
“It took lots of planning,” she said. “I had to balance my chemo sessions with my timetable, in order to minimise losing out on lectures.” She said it takes her four to five days to recover from a chemo session.
“I’ve been very lucky and so blessed that my reaction to the chemo is mild compared to the general population,” she said. This mild reaction helped she said because it allowed her to be back in class faster.
Prioritising has been the key to Ditabane’s demanding year. She focuses her energies into getting class done, then her treatment and her newly started consulting business.
“I wake up at 3am every morning, to give myself more time to do things,” she says proudly. “Every hour is important.” Her new company started out facilitating training for companies but she says it’s expanding to include debt cancelling and a call centre.
“My focus is how do I own my time? How do I create wealth?” she said. “I can’t let fear control me.” The mother of two young daughters attributes her overcoming the past year’s events and success to God.
“I spend an hour in prayer when I wake up,” she said.
Ditabane will finish her chemotherapy this month and focus on school and her new entrepreneurial endeavours.