with exceptional stories.
Follow their stories
In celebration of our 21st birthday, 21 FMI staff teams set out in our red vintage Kombi, fondly named Gus The Bus, across the country to capture the stories of 21 inspiring policyholders who we’ve paid claims to over the years.
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Marcelle Jacobs' StoryAge 26, Self-employed, Hairdresser
"I think that’s why he is so perfect for me, because he doesn’t look at me differently."
Marcelle lost both her legs in a devastating car accident. Her inspiring story is one of courage and optimism, with a fairy tale ending.
Cornelia Jacobs' StoryAge 51, Self-employed - Business owner
"In vandag se lewe is 'n vrou saam met die man ‘n broodwenner."
'Tannie Connie' is a vivacious and hard-working lady with a warm personality. Her resilience and positive approach to life has kept her going through her bad luck with her health.
Braam Kritzinger's StoryAge 58, Business owner - Car dealership
"I’ve got a special relationship with every staff member. You’ve got two choices, you can either get involved in their personal life, or not. I chose to know when your dog is sick so I know how to treat you that day."
Braam runs a Toyota dealership in Joubertina. As a respected member of his community, he has remained a strong influence and employs 47 people, despite his own personal traumatic loss and constant battle with Peripheral Neuropathy disease.
Carolyn Hurwitz's StoryAge 51, Commission earner
"Having a critical illness is a lonely place to be because you are the only person who can truly understand what you are going through."
Carolyn is a courageous woman who has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for more than 20 years. She is grateful that when she doesn’t have the strength to work, she has the income protection cover she needs to provide for her.
Werner van Zweel's StoryAge 48, Business owner
"Especially with this type of disease you actually never know what’s coming from one day to the next."
Werner was a small business owner and passionate musician living in Gauteng before being diagnosed with the physically debilitating and degenerative Motor Neuron Disease. His is a truly inspiring story of courage and the true meaning and value of family love and support.
Pedro and Beryl Carvalho's StoryBusiness owner - Ocularists
"The work we do brings the patient back to a place where they can walk into a room and people don’t stare at them. They are accepted as anybody else."
Husband and wife, Pedro and Beryl Carvalho, make a formidable team. They managed to overcome a nightmare series of events in 2002 and continue with their amazing work that allows people to hope and dream again.
Dr Robert Cole's StoryAge 57, Salaried - Dentist
"I think life is like a deck of cards… when you dealt a bad hand, you can’t say I don’t want to play anymore. You must play, you must go on."
In Loving Memory
13/01/1960 - 27/01/2018
Alby van der Walt's StoryAge 50, Self-employed - Farrier
"I could look after my staff. I could pay my bills."
Alby has a passion for horses and loves his career as a farrier. Alby’s job is both physical and dangerous. If he is ill or injured in any way, he cannot work, and he has a family and 2 employees who depend on him.
Pat Koliasnikoff's StoryAge 68, Self-employed - Aromatherapist
"Maybe it’s my Russian background, but I am a fighter. And where there’s a will there’s a way."
The bubbly self-employed aromatherapist from Cape Town, who has had a few periods in her life where she has been unable to work due to illness, injury and an accident.
Denise Williams' StoryAge 61, Business owner - Company director
"The first thing when you get diagnosed with an illness like this is you worry financially."
2016 started for Denise with the news of her daughter’s miracle pregnancy, 2 overseas holidays, her 60th birthday celebration and the long awaited birth of her first granddaughter in August of that year. In the same week, she received the earth-shattering news that she had breast cancer.
Damian Souchen's StoryAge 28, Business owner - Plumber
"My dad got me a bike before I could walk. The first thing I can remember, we were always on bikes."
Damien is a 26 year old business owner and one of our youngest claimants, who was involved in a motorbike accident that led to him being unable to work for 8 months.
Yvonne Ritter's StoryAge 64, Self-employed - Hairstylist
"Wow! Life is beautiful, there are so many things to be grateful for."
Yvonne's is a story about bravery and an infectious optimism for life that was instrumental in helping her overcome an horrific car accident.
Johan Schoeman's StoryAge 69, Self-employed - Financial adviser
"Loving is one of the best things you can do in life. It’s so nice to just love something. Fighting takes a lot of energy and it’s no good for anybody."
Nothing holds Johan back, including his 70 years of age. In fact, his age is what drives him to experience more and to try new things. He believes if it wasn’t for his income protection, he would be bankrupt today.
Daniela Leigh's StoryAge 63, Commission earner - Estate agent
"You don’t get to call yourself a motivational speaker until you’ve walked the walk through tough circumstances yourself."
Daniela is a true inspiration as she soldiers on while living with rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus, working and achieving more than ever - in her industry and as a motivational speaker.
Warren BonnAge 28, Salaried - IT Manager
"You have to be happy with what the doctors are going to do. If not, do some research, get informed or get a medical second opinion until it sits right with you."
The truly incredible story of how a medical second opinion turned Warren’s life around.
Anna-Marie Coetzee's StoryAge 47, Salaried – Computer programmer
"Aan die einde van die dag kon ons weer ons fokus terugdraai op die boerdery, soos ons altyd wou."
Anna-Marie was a successful computer programmer and the main breadwinner for her family of 5 until a simple gall bladder operation in 2013 led to a series of critical health complications.
Allan Swanepoel's StoryAge 60, Business owner – Farmer
"I enjoy the business. I enjoy making a living. I enjoy employing a lot of people and keeping people employed."
Over the years Allan has had to undergo several surgeries. During these periods of recuperation he had the peace of mind that he was covered, which ensured his business kept going and his employees’ jobs remained secure.
Marlene Beukes' StoryAge 42, Business owner
"My future goals are to be able to retire and have a successful business that my child can eventually run."
Marlene was too ill to chat with us the day we planned to meet with her, so her daughter, Caren, stepped in, to share her story – one that exemplifies her mother’s fighting spirit.
André Cronjé's StoryAge 45, Business owner - Financial adviser
"Being a business owner plus a family man, income is very important to me to provide for everybody and everything."
André is a strong advocate for income protection. He speaks of how rest assuring it was for him to have FMI by his side after an operation 4 years ago that kept him off work for a month.
Monde Simbosini's StoryAge 26, Actuarial Scientist
"I want to start my own company sometime in the future, when I have acquired the skills that I need."
Through determination and hard work, Monde has been able to reach for the stars and has attained amazing successes against all odds.
The Learn Project's StoryEducation NGO
"Readers Make Leaders, and with access to the wealth of information that books provide, children can thrive and a brighter future can be seen ahead for each individual learner."
The Learn Project is a non-profit organisation dedicated to building sustainable libraries and classroom bookcorners in underprivileged schools. Close to FMI’s heart, The Learn Project shares our belief in the power of storytelling and how stories can empower people through imagination and education. We were privileged to attend the launch of a new library at Sophunga Primary School, based in Inanda KZN, which is now home to more than 1000 books.