About us

Sweet Life is an inspiring diabetes lifestyle magazine and online community. Our core team is supported by a Panel of Experts who ensure everything we write is medically and factually accurate. Meet the fabulous team behind Sweet Life, below.


Diabetes isn’t just a medical condition. Our diabetes team includes endocrinologists (diabetes specialists), doctors, diabetes educators, dieticians, podiatrists, biokineticists, ophthalmologists, support group experts and professors. We’re all in this together!


* Dr. Joel Dave MBChB PhD FCP Cert Endocrinology is a Senior Specialist in the Division of Diabetic Medicine and Endocrinology at the University of Cape  Town and Groote Schuur Hospital. He is also in private practice in Cape Town. He specialises in the diagnosis and management of a wide spectrum of simple and complex endocrine-related disorders, particularly thyroid disease and diabetes.



* Dr. Zaheer Bayat MBBCh (Wits), FCP(SA), Cert Endo (SA) is a specialist physician and specialist endocrinologist working in Gauteng. He is the Co-chair of the Post Graduate Committee in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Witwatersrand, and the Head of Endocrinology and Diabetic Services at Helen Joseph Hospital, and sees private patients at the Centre for Integrative Health in Bedfordview and the Centre for Medical Excellence in Lenasia.



claudine lee* Dr. Claudine Lee is a family doctor (GP) with a passion for treating diabetes well. She is based in Hilton, KwaZulu/Natal. She has a Diploma in Diabetes (Cardiff University) as well as Ophthalmology and Anaesthesiology (so is able check your eyes  as well). She also runs an insulin pump centre and loves managing pump patients as well as initiating patients on pumps.



* Dr. Neville Wellington has been in General Practice for 17 years, and has always had an interest in treating patients with diabetes. He recently completed the CDE diabetes course, and has subsequently been doing the Diploma in Diabetes through the University of Cardiff. He is married with 3 children and works at the Kenilworth Medicross.



* Dr Gabaza Ngobeni is a general practitioner based in Diepkloof, Soweto. She runs Dr Gabaza’s Healing Centre, a division of the CDE, in Soweto and is involved in a lot of community work around diabetes, including community workshops and monthly diabetes days. She is a board member for Choc, Readucate and Diabetes South Africa, and resident doctor for Jozi FM, Shift SABC1 and Soweto TV.



* Jeannie Berg is the Chairperson of DESSA: the Diabetes Education Society of South Africa. A dedicated registered pharmacist and diabetic educator with specialty experience in primary health care and diabetes, Jeannie serves on a clinical co-ordination committee of a medical aid administrator and works in Secunda, doing local education for all diabetes patients. Her motto is: Diabetes is a journey and we need a lot of friends to walk it with!


fiona prins* Fiona Prins has been working in diabetes management for the last 16 years. She is currently chairperson of DESSA KZN and is a registered diabetes specialist nurse. She works for Roche and has a small private practice specializing in insulin pump therapy, lifestyle coaching and behavior change management in Durban. Her qualifications include a PG Diabetes Diploma from Cardiff University and a PG MSc Diabetes from the University of South Wales. She is passionate about diabetes management.


kate bristow* Kate Bristow is a qualified nursing sister and certified diabetes educator who runs a Centre for Diabetes in Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg. She works with clients of all ages and types of diabetes (Type 1, Type 2, Pre-Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes) guiding them in self-management. Consultations are on a one-to-one basis with occasional group sessions. She also organizes wellness days in the community, and complimentary diabetes education sessions for patients at local medical centres. She has been involved in diabetes education since 2006, and has a Diploma in Diabetes Care from Glammorgan University.


* Genevieve Jardine is a dietician based in Durban, who is registered with ADSA, the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, and specialises in diseases of lifestyle, diabetes and weight loss. She is the co-author of Your Journey with Diabetes: guiding you through the highs and lows towards optimal blood glucose control, with Dr. Kathryn Wiseman, and is in private practice in Durban.



* Faaiza Paruk holds a Bsc Dietetics (Hons) from the University of the Western Cape and is a member of ADSA, the Association for Dietetics in South Africa. She specialises in diseases of lifestyle, especially diabetes, and has worked in hospitals, both private and public. She is now in private practice in Mayfair, Gauteng.



cheryl meyer

* Cheryl Meyer is a registered dietician and member of the Association for Dietetics South Africa (ADSA) working in private practice in Bryanston, Johannesburg.  She is passionate about food and nutrition, with particular areas of interest in: disease of lifestyle, healthy (and tasty) cooking, diabetes, childhood nutrition and weight management.



ajita ratanjee* Ajita Ratanjee is a Registered Dietician in Pretoria East and the Founder of Easy Health Wellness in Moreleta Park. Her special interest is ICU nutrition and lifestyle diseases, mainly obesity and diabetes. With over a decade of experience in working with clients, her passion is renewed by seeing the results of helping people make positive lifestyle changes.



* Sarah Hall is a Registered Biokineticist with a BSc. (Med)(HONS) in Exercise Science (Biokinetics) UCT who loves working out the best possible exercise options for individuals. She currently works for Wellness in Motion in Parkmore, Johannesburg.


ilona padayachee* Ilona Padayachee is a biokineticist in private practice in Port Elizabeth. She studied HMS (Human Movement Science) with an Honours degree in Biokinetics at NMMU. She enjoys both hydro and orthopaedic rehabilitation, and sees patients with different disease states as well.





* Andy Blecher is a podiatrist who has been in practice in Cape Town for over 10 years, where she now lives with her three children. She is currently running the Western Cape Diabetic Foot Clinic with a team of other specialists. She holds a 4 year National Higher Diploma in Podiatry, and is on the Western Cape committee of the diabetic foot working group (DFWG). She has a certificate in biomechanics from the international ICB college of biomechanics and is a member of the HPCSA and BHF. Her special interests are the diabetic foot and her motto is: Prevention IS the cure.


* Anette Thompson holds an M Tech Podiatry (UJ) and B Tech Podiatry (SA) and is currently Chairperson of the Footwear Committee of the SA Podiatry Association; Clinical Director for Anette Thompson & Associates, Inc., Podiatrists, KZN and accredited with both the CDE and Diabetes SA. Anette is passionate about foot health and footwear and has registered 3 footwear related patents. Both her mother and husband are Type 2 diabetics so she knows how to “walk the talk”!




* Dr. Dale Harrison is an ophthalmologist in private practice in Cape Town, and a sessional consultant at Groote Schuur Hospital. He did his undergraduate training at UCT graduating MBCHB in 1992, and completed his specialist training at Groote Schuur FC Ophth (SA) in 2002. He is married with one child. His motto? Get your eyes checked annually!




jenny russellJenny Russell is Branch Manager of Diabetes South Africa Durban and is passionate about educating diabetics on how to lead a healthy lifestyle. Jenny is a trained teacher, but has worked in the healthcare industry for approximately 10 years, and for Diabetes SA for 6½ years. She has attended the DESSA (Diabetes Education Society of SA) Diabetes Management course as well as Nutrition Workshops, and currently facilitates 14 Support Groups, as well as the day-to-day running of Diabetes South Africa Durban Branch. Jenny also holds the Community portfolio on the DESSA KZN committee.



tim noakes* Timothy Noakes MBChB, MD, DSc, FACSM, (hon) FFSEM (UK) is a Professor in the Discovery Health Chair of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Cape Town.  He is also Director of the UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine and co-founder with Morné du Plessis of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). He has authored many books and papers over the years including his book Lore of Running which is in its 4th edition and which has been published in countries worldwide.


wayne derman* Wayne Derman MBChB BSc (Med)(Hons) PhD is the Director of the Chronic Disease Lifestyle Rehabilitation Programme based at the UCT Sports Science Institute of South Africa, where he is also Professor of Sport Science and Sports Medicine and Co-Director of the Sports Medicine Services and Research Group. He has served as Chief Medical Officer for the South African Olympic and Paralympic Teams, and is a popular motivational speaker.

In between the magazine issues, join us right here on the Sweet Life website, to ask and answer questions about daily life with diabetes, start new conversations, and sign up for our monthly newsletter.

From the whole team here at Sweet Life, WELCOME! Don’t forget to sign up so we can stay in touch.

PS: Want to email us? Please do!