A personal account on Wema Sepetu’s weight loss journey

Tipping the scales at a staggering 106kg up from 59kg, Wema decided to undergo bariatric surgery courtesy of Viva Serenity, a company that specializes in Medical Tourism. The former beauty queen shared her weight loss journey before leaving for India on losing her confidence and hating the cameras due to her weight problem.

“My name is Wema Isaac Sepetu, former Miss Tanzania 2006, CEO and actress. I struggled with weight loss for four years, which affected my life. I never thought that I would weigh over 100kg but I kept adding weight until I weighed 106kg! I tried working out and eating right but it wasn’t working well for me. For a long time, I lost passion for myself and lost confidence. I wasn’t happy for myself and this made me lose so much in life. This affected me as a person and my life as a whole. All this changed when I met Viva Serenity.

“Viva Serenity is my wellness partner and I also happen to be the Brand Ambassador. I came to Kenya courtesy of Viva Serenity and was hosted at the Ole Sereni Hotel in their Presidential Suite. As I weighed myself on the weighing scales in the hotel, I screamed in shock. Why do I keep on adding weight, I asked. I never thought I would be over 80kg but here I was, weighing 106kg! Something has to be done pronto! I told the doctor form Viva Serenity as he took my vitals and proceeded to carry out other tests ahead of my bariatric surgery in India.

“One hundred and six kilogrammes is too much for a lady, isn’t it, I asked the doctor who agreed with me and went ahead to calculate my Body Mass Index (BMI). At 34.8, my BMI was quite high and was above the obese range that starts at 30, the doctor advised me. Obesity is not a good thing and I never imagined myself there. During our conversation with the doctor, I told him that I once weighed 59kg and would like to get somewhere close to that weight. Let’s leave for India now,  I urged the doctor. What are we waiting for? I could not wait to go for the procedure. I can’t wait. I said as I signed the contract and officially became Viva Serenity’s Brand Ambassador for bariatric surgery; a role which entailed being the company’s voice in matters bariatric surgery.

“I would recommend Viva Serenity to anyone. They are the best. Viva Serenity fully sponsored my trip to India and the procedure and accorded me VIP treatment. I thank Viva Serenity for giving me such an opportunity. I’m not nervous at all and I’m looking forward to the procedure because I know the aftermath is going to be really nice. Excitement is an understatement. After the procedure, I’m hoping to achieve a better Wema. I’m hoping to look good, feel good about myself and gain back my confidence. I’m looking forward to a more active Wema… I’m looking forward to more projects in my career and to embracing my beauty and reaching my goals. I see Wema going international now and I see a more focused Wema. I did not like the cameras anymore because I did not like the person I look like in front of the cameras.

“I chose Viva Serenity as my wellness partner because first, I felt very safe with them as this journey is very personal for me and I wanted to work with people I could trust and people who were willing to walk the journey with me. I just trust them as a Company.

Editor's Note

Viva Serenity hosted a dinner in honour of Wema Sepetu at the Ole Sereni Hotel, which had various guests among them Big Ted who had previously undergone a mini gastric bypass procedure in India. Wema Sepetu had arrived earlier that day at 10am from Dar es Salaam and left for India the following day, Saturday, 26th May 2018. A month later after her procedure, the Viva Serenity team flew to Tanzania to check on Wema’s progress, who was doing pretty well.

Doctor's Notes

Dr. Theo Wangata answers our questions on the procedure Wema Sepetu went through:

Dr. Theo Wangata answers our questions on the procedure Wema Sepetu went through:

Viva Serenity: What is Bariatric Surgery?

Dr. Theo: In layman’s language, bariatric can loosely be translated to mean, ‘weight loss. So Bariatric Surgery, in essence, is when we bring the surgical angle to weight loss.

There are different techniques used in Bariatric Surgery, which are tailor-made according to the individual needs of the client based on their desired weight. The most common one is the mini-gastric bypass, which most of our clients, including Wema Sepetu have undergone.

Viva Serenity: What does the mini gastric bypass involve?

Dr. Theo: It is the most common procedure; the stomach is reduced in size and a portion of the small intestines where the food is absorbed more (duodenum and jejunum) are bypassed. The capacity of the stomach is reduced, which means smaller portions of food that essentially lead to weight loss are more filling as opposed to before the procedure.

Viva Serenity: Is Bariatric Surgery cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery?

Dr. Theo: Bariatric surgery is for achieving weight loss, not just in one part of the body but the entire body.

Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty that involves restoring, reconstructing, and changing the shape of parts of the human body. It is divided into two fields: Reconstructive and Cosmetic.

Reconstructive surgery deals with restoring or reconstructing a body part for instance after an injury, or cancer, such as breast reconstruction after cancer surgery, or a birth defect such as cleft lip/ palate.

Cosmetic surgery on the other hand deals with changing or enhancing the appearance of a body part. Cosmetic procedures include liposuction, breast enhancements (boob jobs), butt lifts, facelifts, nose reshaping, tummy tucks, hair transplants, lip and eyebrow enhancements, etc.

Viva Serenity: Who is eligible for Bariatric Surgery?

Dr. Theo: Anyone with BMI above 35 who has tried other methods such as diet and exercise without success and anyone near that BMI who already has obesity-related health problems. The surgery can be done for obese teenagers as well, and especially the procedure called the gastric sleeve. Patients are evaluated appropriately by the Viva Serenity team of consultants before the appropriate bariatric surgery procedure is advised.

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