“How I Survived: A Professional Woman’s Journey from Destitution to Empowerment and Hope”

By Deryn
Jun 23, 2023

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I just had to share this amazing lady’s story with my readers. Diana Sekwaila lives in South Africa. Her story shows you must draw on God-inspired divine strength to see you through difficult circumstances. Diana’s mission is to help people in despair when they thought life was over for them, igniting the hope she had found through her faith and gift.

 Diana was a middle child and, to her father’s disappointment, a girl when he had hoped for a boy. He treated her like a son to all intents and purposes, teaching her to think and approach every situation like a boy. 

I will let Diana Continue her story. 

“He taught me how to live passionately at a very young age. How to evaluate and dig deep into every situation before making decisions. He once said, “Make every moment of your day count.” He intentionally showed me what it takes to have tenacity, discipline, and perseverance. He demonstrated that it is difficult to swim against the stream, but it is possible and achievable. Becoming a wife, a mother, a professional, and a businesswoman became second nature to me. I understood very early on that nothing is impossible with God.


After 1994 South Africa’s first democratic election, I relocated to the nearest city to taste the urban lifestyle, which expanded my career and expenses living in the city. My children were at a multiracial school, and I was also earning well and running a private weekend practice. I  had an interest in a daycare center for children with intellectual disabilities to complement my salary since I owned two houses. 

1995 I was excited to learn I was expecting a baby girl. As I was 37 years old, it was a risky age to have a baby. At week 32, right in the middle of the night, I was rushed to the nearest hospital emergency room with preeclampsia. I started having seizures, and the doctors decided to do an emergency cesarean section to save the baby and me. 


 I did not respond well to treatment, drifting in and out of consciousness. My blood pressure was uncontrollable, so I was admitted to the High Care and ICU units. The wound became septic, swollen, and necrotic skin started to form. The isolation created more fear, worry, and anxiety. I was preoccupied with the fear of dying and leaving my children. I worried about my finances that I could not pay my bills at the end of the month. Four weeks later, I was discharged under orders of strict bed rest. 


I could not continue my weekend private practice and had to close the daycare center that needed my regular intervention. Once my maternity leave was over, I was unable to pay all my bills resulting in our furniture and car being repossessed and us being evicted from our home. 

I could only afford a tiny two-bedroom apartment. My children reacted negatively to the change, mixing with the wrong crowd. I had no choice but to relocate my family to my rural village.


DERYN: You can’t imagine what pressure this would have put on Diana and the family, to return to the rural lifestyle she had come out from. For readers who don’t know what a rural lifestyle was like in South Africa. There were no utilities or facilities, and everything had to be done manually. You would not even begin to imagine emotionally what it is like having to return to living a rural lifestyle after experiencing the conveniences of a city lifestyle 

DIANA: The children did not adapt well at all and I had to act as a strong mother and wife throughout all this. In retrospect, I was negatively affected physically and emotionally as this turn of events dramatically traumatized me. 

My spouse found it difficult to support me as he worked far away and only visited home monthly. My sickness and the loss of our home and valuable assets drove him to compensate by overworking to reclaim our lost social status. I felt lonely, bitter, and isolated from my friends and colleagues. I started to believe that God was punishing me. I felt like a failure and ashamed, and my self-esteem dropped radically as I felt I no longer fit the academic and professional society profile. When the situation became unbearable, I relocated to the province where my husband was working, hoping for more support to raise the boys, but because he had to work so hard, the boys spent more time with their friends than at home. 


The situation pushed me to the limits emotionally. I saw myself as a failure as a mother and wife as well. This all affected me negatively physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Emotionally I was a mess, Spiritually I was in the wilderness, questioning God’s existence. I reached the bottom of the pit. Where I had to find out who I was and what I was created for. 


We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed but not driven to despair. 2 Corinthians 4:8 NLT. 

During this confusion, by the grace of God, I found a new job near to an active local church with women’s ministries and activities. I dwelled deeper in the Word of God and held on to His promises that He could restore my life; I started to believe I am unique, powerful, and can recover from my losses. I refused to listen to the voice of defeat. I declared victory, restoration, and peace over my life. I reminded God of His promise to my family I would survive. I dressed as if I was living in the promise with lip gloss and a smile. I changed my thoughts from negative to positive, and things started manifesting. I started sharing my story to encourage others in similar situations, and life began to take shape.

Someone sharing their story


 I shared and used my story as a testimony to empower, educate and uplift others. I encouraged others to acknowledge their situation but not allow themselves to be entangled in the situation. 

Life is unpredictable and full of surprises. I thought I had it all together until I unexpectedly found myself helpless in a hospital bed. Even though we sometimes go through life challenges and are tempted to question the existence of God. We serve a Mighty God, who created us in His image, an Overcomer, a loving Creator regardless of what we perceive him to be. I am still so grateful because He showed me I could become a leader who translates her pain into gain and brokenness into greatness. Today, I am an author, mentor, faith-based life Coach, and conference speaker.

Diana's Books

 “The World Needs Courageous Woman”


I have only presented you with a snapshot of Diana’s struggles. I hope her story has inspired you as it did me. If anyone would like to contact Diana or read her books, they can be found on her website. Diana Sekwaila Consulting or email : Diana Sekwaila Dianasekwaila120@gmail.com

Another of Dian's Books


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