How poet Sizakele Phohleli survived Covid-19

When it comes to Covid-19, its no longer as distant as it was when South Africa first started with lockdown – it is so close to home now.

One of the best way to deal with the anxiety that comes with Covid-19 is to stay updated about the virus, adhere to health official’s regulation and learn from other people’s experience.

Writer and poet, Sizakele Phohleli who is known as Her Mentality, tested positive for Covid-19 and shared her journey to recovery on Instagram.

After three days in isolation, she posted an emotional video on Instagram sharing her experience on seeing her family during that time.

“My family came to see me, it broke my heart that they had to stand so far away from me. It made this even more real and painful.”

On day four the poet said, “I know the isolation is now dropped to 10 days but I don’t want to risk it, I will stay isolated for my family and friends’ safety for a whole 14 days and more if I have to. It hasn’t been easy but each day gets a little better. Yesterday was the worst one yet but I believe no one feels the same pain twice.”

Her surviving coronavirus kit included: drinking a lot of water, both cold and lukewarm, either with grapefruit, orange or lemon. “I have been listening to new music and watching new movies and series.”

On the 11th day,  Phohleli posted her learnings from the coronavirus experience. “The past eleven days have been medicinal, literally. I look back to day three and I’m amazed at how far I’ve come, with this virus I panicked a little that it would try to end me.

“Little did I know that it would only bring me closer to myself, that it would make me embrace this life of mine, as it is.I feel like, after this, I can boldly stare death straight in the eye and say “not today little girl.”

The writer said brewing this immune booster (1 of 2 of my concoctions) had become her favourite past time, a kind of therapy she never thought she needed and a type of self-care.

Here is how she made it.


  • water
  • onion
  • grapefruit
  • lemon
  • lemon juice (if you want)
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • cayenne pepper
  • powdered cinnamon (use sticks if you have them)
  • mhlonyane (wormwood)
  • green tea teabags
  • honey


Boil everything together for 10 minutes. Strain it and bottle it to your liking. Then drink concoction daily or every other day.

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