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Tanzanian Supermodel Millen Magese Speaks Candidly about Living with Endometriosis



Millen Magese - July 2014 - 01
One of Africa’s most celebrated runway queens Millen Magese has previously discussed her battle with endometriosis.

But in the July/August 2014 issue of Radiant Health Magazine, the Tanzanian beauty speaks candidly about the condition.

She confesses that the condition has had a negative effect on her career, and personal relationships. Millen was first diagnosed at 25.

Nigerian beauty queen and fashion icon Nike Oshinowo has also been open about her battle with endometriosis – a gynaecological condition which can cause severe pain and infertility.

Millen Magese - July 2014 - 02

Millen who was reasonably private about the condition, tells Radiant Health that she underwent an egg-retrieval procedure in order to save her eggs, for a chance to have children in the future.

“I was not always open about it until my wake-up call in February. I was only able to produce three eggs. It takes its toll on you emotionally, in addition to the financial commitment involved. And when the trail to save my fallopian tubes came to naught, it was at this point that I decided to talk about it.” she says.

Millen also credits Nigerian actress Rita Dominic for inspiring her. Millen became aware of Dominic’s social media efforts raise awareness about the condition in Nigeria during the World Endometriosis Month in March.

Millen Magese - July 2014 - 03

On further going public, she says;

“I was still recovering from my egg-retrieval procedure, and the result was just too emotional. Together with all that was happening, I felt it was my call to speak out without a care about myself anymore. If I could help one woman, that was enough for me. It feels good that I was able to touch quite a lot of women, and even better that I’m no longer alone as I go through this. That I’m able to speak about my problem is part of my healing.”

You don’t want to know the emotional breakdown, the depression, the frustration and the questions I asked myself as someone battling with a medical challenge for which one of its symptoms is what looks and feels like a taboo subject to speak about as an African woman: ‘Period pains or pains during sex.’ These are things that are private for most of us Africans, and I didn’t know how people would receive it, and as a public figure, I wasn’t sure how it would play out. But I’m not talking about it as a public figure. I’m speaking out as a woman.”

To read the full interview with Belinda Otas, click here

Cover Credits
Photography: TCD Concept
Make-up Artist: Joyce Jacob Beauty
Stylist: Bolaji Animashuan


  1. Nuna

    July 15, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I totally feel her pain. God bless you Millen for speaking out and raising awareness about this issue

  2. Modella

    July 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Sorry,our sweetest queen..but why did they have to make her lighter on the cover page?

  3. Grown Woman

    July 15, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Oh Millen,God will surely see you through this challenging time.

  4. Me Now

    July 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Endometriosis is such a debilitating illness. I have a dear friend who suffers from it. She has had to take a significant amount of time off work. She is constantly in pain and has bled none stop for the last year. She described it as “being on day two of your period for over a year”. God bless you MIllen for being so open with your struggle.

  5. Me Now

    July 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I’m not sure whose profile pic that is next to my comment BN. It sure ain’t me!!!???!!!

  6. Dee

    July 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I admire her for speaking up about it, very smart for her to save her eggs.

  7. Changing Faces

    July 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I can only imagine how difficult endometriosis is. It’s important awareness is created so people do not feel isolated and alone. God bless you Millen

  8. Tolani

    July 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Endometriosis is debilitating…that is the best word to describe it.

    It comes with a lot of other illnesses and conditions that as Millen says are taboos in Africa. The difficulty is best imagined; most of the time one is termed as ‘lazy’ and ‘not fun’ and seen as pretending in order to avoid some chore or the other.

    I had it for since I was 11 and this is the 20th year.

    • Miss Pee

      July 15, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      @ Tolani dear, your healing will come with perfect wholeness. In Jesus Name. Amen. *hugs dear*, I don’t want to put myself in your shoes, mere reading your comment I was touched.

  9. eve

    July 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    someone is there speaking about a serious problem she is facing and the only thing that can come out of your mouth is trash…. please bleach if it can make you feel more happy about yourself


    July 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Gosh I can’t imagine how hard it must be.


    July 15, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    She is brave for opening up about this. Love and admire her more.

  12. Jojo

    July 15, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    God be with you

  13. Vashti

    July 15, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Sigh….where do I begin. Millen you are not alone. God bless you for shedding more light on this especially for African women. Not a lot of people are aware of this condition. I have been battling with this for 15 years…I am now in my mid 30s. During one of my many pain episodes…I just cried out to God and asked him what good could ever come out of this/me….I have to miss work during my period, I get moody and emotional from the hormonal craziness (this has affected relationships), I recently just had an HSG procedure to check if my tubes are ok (almost fell off the Drs bed from the excruciating pain), I have to face real facts about the likelihood of infertility…so what good is this for any woman. My mind went straight to the woman with the issue of blood in the bible….no one could cure her. but she must have been through a lot to be able to cultivate a faith like no other and believe that she will be healed…Jesus knew someone had touched him. Hold on and have faith…3 eggs is nothing to God..he is the creator and will create new eggs for you. I intend to write a book about this to encourage other women. I will tell my story…Fallopian tubes or no eggs I will have my children.

    • Hairmillionaire

      July 15, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      I admire your faith, God’s grace will see you through. Amen

    • Sabine

      July 16, 2014 at 5:48 am

      Wow, I can’t believe what I’m reading. I have endometriosis as well. After reading your comment I felt like I was in a fog, because I too refer to my medical problems, to the woman with the issue of blood in the bible. What baffles me is that there is no cure. I’m in my mid thirties and I feel like I have run out of options. Everyone tells me to pray, and it’s not like I haven’t or pleaded with God, himself. What annoys me is that there are still those people out here that don’t believe this is a debilitating disease, like any other. Any how, thanks for writing your comment. It makes me feel, not so alone.

  14. gu

    July 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Sad! Well, i dunno wah to say and I can’t imagine what it feels like either but it sure sounds very hurtful. I feel sad for d many women going thru dis and my prayers is that God who is an impossibility specialist will rescue u all frm dis situation and may his name be praised cos I can see his healing hands upon u all already. It’s well with ur souls.

  15. Fanny-Gabrielle

    July 16, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Thank for your implication
    Endometriosis burn my life every day
    I want to make change in my population but is not that easy when you are not a celebrity
    Thank for used your statut to help for endometriosis awarness ( sorry for my english im a frech girl)

    • labelle

      July 16, 2014 at 1:52 am

      it’s ok hun, we won’t judge you for your English. Stay strong!! ((hugs))

    • oj

      July 17, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      i don’t know u but i feel u. May God give you and all who go thru this the strength to cope. so sorry. some of us complain about things that now seem so insignificant when compared to what u’re going thru. look forward to the time when all pain such as this would be gone in God’s new world

  16. mum

    July 16, 2014 at 9:11 am


  17. Chinma Eke

    July 16, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I’m of the opinion that no man can survive what us women pass through. Y’all keep your heads up, testimonies will definitely come.

  18. tee

    July 16, 2014 at 10:44 am

    @Vashti and Teniola you are on the right path.I’ve suffered same for almost 20yrs,but God finally made me whole.In my late twenties I battled with fibroids,yoyo weight,depression, and chronic aneamia as some of the conditions the hormanal imbalance caused.But today I am an overcome and trust me,it was purely a FAITH HEALING for me.Travelling abroad for treatment is not enough.I remember every step/process God showed me through the Holyspirit to take and I followed every instruction but you have to be spiritually inclined to win this battlle.I wish all the best and I pray the Spirit of truth will show you the deep things of God that will bring about your healing.stay lifted

  19. FEEEEZ

    July 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    @ tee thanks a lot,you just have to b spiritually inclined.Fear God,keep his commandment,have faith ,be a crazy giver and you will surely testify.

  20. Tolani

    July 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Millen, Vashti, Sabine, Fanny-Gabrielle, Tee…

    Thank you all for letting me know I am not the only one. Getting up in the mornings is a struggle most days but I’ve learnt to take each day as it comes and pray daily to God for my healing.

    Thank you ladies.

  21. Akinola Olusegun

    July 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Just believe in GOD.He His a Miracle maker

  22. Barbara Page

    July 24, 2014 at 2:51 am

    Thank you Millen Magese and the journalists/editors of Radiant Magazine & BellaNaija for sharing this both heartbreaking and heartwarming story of struggling with what medical historians will surely one day recognize as one of the most painful diseases on Earth & a true scourge to humankind. We were so appalled & absolutely outraged by the continued mistreatment & medical mismanagement of those with endometriosis that we started a worldwide march to help end the silence & educate medical professional and society alike. (The last straw was finding out that these appalling injustices against women with endo-like symptoms appears to have been going on for nearly 4000 years and counting: the summary & paper can be found here:

    Regarding the Worldwide EndoMarch, there are over 50 countries now on board and we hope you all will also join the march next year on Saturday, March 28, 2015. For more info, feel free to email us at [email protected] or you can visit, for more information. Thank you so much again for being a voice for the millions who continue to suffer in the shadows of silence.

  23. DivaAfricaine

    December 8, 2014 at 9:01 am

    There is treatment that definitely can help depending on how far the endometriosis has advanced. I also suffered from extremely painful period pains since my teens that would have me sick for days and people(Africans!) would speculate that I probably had an abortion!And my mother, God bless her 🙂 would also just dismiss it as period pains that would go away with time.

    I decided to take matters into my own hands at 23(unmarried and not even sexually active)when I had missed a few days of work a month, that I was not going to suffer any longer and did my own research on my symptoms.
    I consulted a gynae who performed a laparascopy and cauterised the lesions that were contributing to my endometriosis and put me on the pill.After that, I have not had anymore issues, I’m now married with 2 beautiful children 🙂

    We as African women need to sometimes stop waiting for permission and talk openly about this issue and stop subscribing to the taboo mentality forced on us. If as a woman this condition affects your fertility, you’ll be condemned again or seen as less than.
    Sorry for the long post 🙂

  24. Glory kayagambe

    April 13, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I appreciate you ccta yua ma role model millen. I wish to be like yu plz can you help me

  25. sarah happe

    April 29, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I real appreciate Millen, I like to join you in raise awareness on the problem so as to help African women to identify the problem earlier.0758976766

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