Mzukisi

Mzukisi was born and raised in the townships surrounding Cape Town. He attended school and like other men, was always seeking work and ways to make a living. In 2001, he became sick with TB and became very ill. Not only was he jobless, but he was also unable to eat or do any other mundane activity. Mzukisi said the scariest part about falling so ill was the fact that he didn't know what was happening to his body - he didn't know if he was going to get sicker and die or if there was a chance for him to get better. He took a blood test and discovered that he was HIV+. He was relieved to know what the root cause of his TB and other ailments were. The clinic gave Mzukisi treatment and counseling and told him about Wola Nani, that he could attend a support group on a regular basis. At that point in his life he was single, jobless and ultimately homeless. He described the dangers of living in the townships and said that they are particularly unsafe at night.

After joining Wola Nani in 2001, Mzukisi made the decision to disclose his status to his family. It was hard for them to accept at first he says, but eventually they came around. He felt relieved after opening up to his family about his HIV. He joined Wola Nani's income generation programme in 2002 making papier mache goods and finds the money he makes to be incredibly helpful. He was just married in January 2007 to a woman he met in one of the support groups and they are now able to make the crafts together. In addition to being able to afford a roof over their heads, he also earns enough money for food and other expenses. Now that he and his wife are both employed making crafts for Wola Nani he says that "there are no problems."