Nozi

Nozi relocated to the Western Cape with her husband and children in 1991. She has known about her HIV+ status since 2000 when she went to the hospital to treat chronic headaches she had been suffering from. It was a shock to find out that she had the HIvirus, but she didn't have time to think about herself; all she could think about was how she was going to financially and emotionally support her four children. She did not want to leave them all alone. When she arrived home on the day that she found out her + status, she told her husband that she had HIV and wanted him to get tested. He was offended that she would ask such a thing of him and refused. He stormed out of the house and she and her children have not heard from him since.

The strain of raising four kids as a single parent can be quite stressful. The support groups at Wola Nani have helped Nozi relieve some of that stress. She is extremely close with her children and they communicate a lot. She says that her children do not mind growing up without their father because he did not show them a lot of love the way she does.

One day her 16 year old daughter asked her about HIV because she had seen so much publicity about the virus on television and on billboards. Nozi decided to open up to her daughter and tell her that she was HIV+. Her daughter was incredibly receptive to the news and continues to offer her a great deal of hope and support. Nozi sometimes brings her daughter to the Wola Nani support groups, which have had a positive effect on their relationship. She says that her daughter is extremely motivated and wants to finish school and get a job. Her daughter says that when her mother passes away, she wants to take over the role of caregiver and be the one to educate and feed all of the kids. "She is busy planning a long future", Nozi says with a proud smile.

Nozi's daughter now has a boyfriend so she tells her to use condoms and presents herself as an example. She says that one of the major problems in the townships is that everyone is so secretive about their HIV so you never know who has it. She hopes that one day people will be more comfortable about disclosing their status, in turn preventing its rapid spread.