After my daughter was born, I was depressed and scared because of the stories I have heard about being a single parent. Even though I had managed to carry my daughter for nine months, I was worried about how I would raise her, and at some point I even tried to commit suicide. I never succeeded and I realized that God still has great plans for me. When I look at my daughter, I realize that I have a lot to live for and that I have to protect her with all that I have.
When I decided to start my healing journey, I saw church as a good starting point. I remember on 31st December 2018, it was a crossover service and people were called to come testify. I took a stand and shared my story in front of a very big number of people. From there I realized that there are many girls that are going through a lot in life, but they can’t share their stories because they are probably scared of being rejected. Many young girls came to me to talk about the things they go through in life and that they can’t discuss with their parents due to how they react about certain topics that affects our daily lives.
Over that period, I met Sis Nomfundo (Nono) Eland through the Shoulder to Lean On ladies’ support group who then introduced me to Emthonjeni Counseling and Training. When Sis Nono heard my story, she advised me to write a blog post to inspire other young woman and girls out there who might be going through hard times in life. The blog has made a very big impact in my life because even though I was open about my life before, lots of people that are close to me did not know that I have been living with HIV—now it is their chance to know. I was a bit scared at the beginning and I was worried they wouldn’t accept me like they did before. One thing that has held me back is the fact that I have always been scared of losing people in my life. But now as I get older, I’m learning that I only need people that will help me grow because I believe that it is no use to keep a relationship that doesn’t help you achieve your goals in life.
Since writing that blog post and taking part in a Facebook live chat discussion with Inside My Purse, I’ve now started hosting live chats on my own Facebook page, sharing my story. I have been receiving lots of positive feedback from women—young and old. Some were encouraged and motivated by my story and that made me realize that it is good to believe in yourself no matter what your circumstances.
Hopefully I will get even bigger and better opportunities to share my story—not so people can feel pity, but to help others realize their worth and learn to know that YOU ONLY NEED YOU TO MAKE YOU.
I want to send a special thanks to Mrs Mxokozeli for being my shoulder to lean on, Sis Nono for mentoring me to be a better version of myself and the queens from Shoulder to Lean On for being my safe space. And finally, to the Emthonjeni Counseling and Training team, they are amazing young woman.