The Star Early Edition

BIG RE­WARD FOR HIV AC­TIVIST IRENE

- VIRGILATTE GWANGWA

A PRE­TO­RIA woman re­jected by her fam­ily for be­ing HIV-pos­i­tive has been in­cluded in the 25 Women Chang­ing the World list by the Amer­i­can weekly mag­a­zine Peo­ple.

Irene Nkosi, 34, from Dark City near Bronkhorst­spruit, was the only African woman hon­oured this year.

Nkosi said no words could de­scribe how she felt when she saw the ar­ti­cle on Thurs­day.

“To this mo­ment I have goose­bumps. I am ex­cited, over­whelmed and feel spe­cial,” said the HIV/Aids ac­tivist and ed­u­ca­tor.

The an­nual list hon­ours women world­wide who work to­ward the good of their com­mu­ni­ties. This year it in­cludes Hol­ly­wood stars Gal Godot as well as pop star Pink! and renowned re­searcher Jane Goodall.

Nkosi said she was thank­ful for the groom­ing she re­ceived from the Mother­s2­moth­ers Foun­da­tion, which helped build her self-es­teem.

She sus­pected the hon­our had every­thing to do with the in­ter­views she did in Lon­don last year. “Mother­s2­moth­ers had or­gan­ised an in­ter­view for me with dif­fer­ent me­dia, and the mag­a­zine was among them,” she said.

Nkosi did not have an easy child­hood; not only was she ne­glected and emo­tion­ally abused as a child, but she was also raped at the age of 16. She dropped out of school af­ter she be­came a sin­gle mother.

Nkosi said when her daugh­ter Lin­dokuhle was six, she fell preg­nant again and found out she was HIV-pos­i­tive.

On an­other visit to the clinic, the nurse told her that Mother­s2­moth­ers was look­ing for HIV-pos­i­tive women to help at the foun­da­tion.

“When I first went there, I thought they had a cure for me, but that was not the case. But sur­pris­ingly I was happy to see that I was not alone; there were oth­ers just like me.”

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 ??  ?? Irene Nkosi has been in­cluded in the 25 Women Chang­ing the World list.
Irene Nkosi has been in­cluded in the 25 Women Chang­ing the World list.

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