During Eyecare Awareness Month, celebrated locally from 21 September to 18 October, strong emphasis is placed on eye health in South Africa. The resilient businessman and Mr. SA Top 10 finalist, Tiaan Massyn, manages successful optometric practices in Pretoria and Cape Town. As an optometrist, he has firsthand experience of the impact of poor vision and eye health on people’s quality of life.
Therefore, an opportunity like Eyecare Awareness Month is crucial to Tiaan, whose goal is to make eye care more accessible and affordable for everyone. “Having healthy eyes and good vision is undoubtedly one of the greatest gifts one can receive. However, it’s something many of us take for granted. For me, Eye Care Awareness Month offers an invaluable opportunity to educate people about the signs and symptoms of eye diseases, which can potentially lead to blindness.”
Furthermore, Massyn is alarmed by the increase in young people with poor eyesight. “We live in a digital world where children are exposed to screens at a young age. As a result, there has been a significant rise in myopia (near-sightedness) over the past few years,” he explains.
Another issue that people don’t readily associate with eye health is diabetes. According to Tiaan, this disease can lead to diabetic retinopathy, which can have catastrophic consequences for the sufferer’s vision. Thus, he encourages people to not only focus on their own vision during Eyecare Awareness Month but also to be mindful of the vision of those around them.
October is also Mental Health Month, and this is also a topic that lies close to this charismatic 29-year-old’s heart. His life’s purpose is to assist people going through difficult times and motivate them to pursue their dreams and find their purpose in life.
“The Mr. SA competition provides an incredible platform where I can drive charity projects and other initiatives on a larger scale. This allows me to help more people and truly make a difference,” he believes.
Besides the opportunity to help others, the competition is also personally meaningful to him. “It’s, of course, a lot of fun but also very challenging. It builds character, helps you grow, and teaches you a lot about yourself.”
He has already established himself as a favourite and was named the winner of the Hirsch’s Challenge for August and the participant with the most votes for July. His praise is sung by numerous online influencers, and he is much-loved among his patients and fellow competitors.
Vote for Tiaan here: https://www.mrsa.co.za/product-page/mr-sa-2023-tiaan-massyn
Although his practices and the Mr. SA competition keep him extremely busy, Tiaan believes in balance and makes time for his other passion—music.
This talented musician and songwriter released his impressive debut single, Die Son Kom Op, earlier this year. This meaningful song, produced by Artistry Productions’ Jattie de Beer, was inspired by the challenges his patients faced after the pandemic. He is currently working on a popular Johnny Clegg cover and an accompanying music video, which will be released soon.
Tiaan encourages people to visit their optometrist during Eyecare Awareness Month. “Being able to see is an incredible gift from God. However, our eyes require care and attention. With the right treatment and precautions, many vision problems can be prevented,” he concludes.