Meet social entrepreneur, HIV activist and self-published author, Nozibele Qamngana. She found out about her HIV positive status in 2013 at the age of 22, while participating in a wellness day program.She was shocked, scared and disappointed, she kept her status a secret from her family for 5 years as she silently battled with depression.
Six years after her diagnosis , she found the courage to publicly disclose her HIV status and use her own story to inspire, engage and educate others on issues relating to health and HIV.She believed that her life should not be on hold so she continued perusing her goals , she wrote her first book, I AM STILL ME, a book about living with HIV after being diagnosed in 2013.
Nozibele decided to open a YouTube channel that is based on her life living with HIV. In 2020,the channel was named by Feedspot as one of the top 15 HIV YouTube channels.
Nozibele has made quite a name for herself as she is the South African international Youth Committee Ambassador and active member of the International Youth Forum. She has been listed in the Nelson Mandela top 40 under 40,Businesswoman Association of South African Regional Achievers Award, the Fruits of Democracy Award for Excellency in Civil Society, and the Vision4Women-Beyond the Balance Sheet Finalist.
She has recently launched a book in August titled I am still Zuri, which is based on the story of a seven-year-old girl who was born HIV positive. In the book, Zuri explains HIV to her peers and that she is no different to them. That, like them, she likes to play and have fun too.
Nozibele believes this book is not only important for families with deceased loved ones who left behind children, but also for parents with HIV negative kids so they can learn that it is okay to play with their friends, even if they are HIV positive.
“I want to spike a conversation among parents, as a person living with HIV I envision a world where HIV no longer a taboo, those disgusting codes at family gatherings. So when my husband and I have children of our own, I don’t want them to experience the same stigmas we have experienced, I don’t want my HIV status used as a weapon to hurt my children. As a society we need to find ways to talk about HIV so that we remove the fear around it, ” says Nozibele.
The book is available at: https://www.ethnikids.africa/.