Yoliswa

Yoliswa moved to the Western Cape from the Eastern Cape in 1985 in order to search for a job. She found work in a restaurant and worked there for five years. Her boss began treating her inappropriately so she resigned. She was not able to find another job, but was still responsible for providing for her three children. Her children are now aged 22, 19 and 15.

Yoliswa first found out that she was HIV+ in 2000 when she became sick with TB. All she could do when she found out that she was HIV +, was cry. She says she released all her emotions through her tears. She still struggles to talk about her HIV and cries at the support groups that she attends every Thursday. She told her kids that she was HIV+ and that has helped a bit because when she is not feeling well they are able to comfort her. Because she did not have a job, she joined Wola Nani's income generation programme in 2003 and was taught how to make papier mache bowls. The income has been a big help to her and her family, as she still has to pay school fees for her youngest child.

Since Yoliswa's children are all getting older and beginning to have boyfriends and girlfriends, she does her best to educate them about sexual health. She urges them to 'condomise' and be smart about their relationships. She says that they respond positively to what she tells them and takes her advice seriously.