It was this experience that motivated Nkosi into his ‘activist’ roll. Invited to speak at schools about his status and the policy, Nkosi took a very active roll in fighting for acceptance and non-discrimination with his unbending stance on ARV medication for HIV+ pregnant women. He never wanted another child to end up infected and could not understand why, when there was treatment available, there was a delay in roll out. The question of expense was way beyond his comprehension.
The death of his biological mother, Daphne, in 1997 created the realization that “does everyone who has AIDS die?” and that his “mommy never said goodbye”. The harshness of rejection, discrimination and isolation created a determination way beyond his years to do “something for other infected mommies and children”. Thus, the development of the first Nkosi’s Haven.
Nkosi has left of legacy that has grown from strength to strength. The first Nkosi’s Haven, a long term residential care centre for the destitute HIV/AIDS infected mother, her children (infected or not) and resulting AIDS orphans, where moms and children can live in an environment of acceptance, normality, non-discrimination and all encompassing holistic interventions are the order or the day was opened by Nkosi on 14th April 1999.
Sadly Nkosi never got to see the second Haven, the Nkosi’s Haven Village and the Nkosi’s Haven 4Life Farm being developed and opened. He has never seen 95 children going to school, 35 moms all living with their children and those that have passed away, have done so with the dignity they deserve.
In celebration of Nkosi’s life, his legacy and all who benefit from it, a fundraising SMS campaign has been opened. Anyone wishing to remember Nkosi and to assist in ensuring his legacy can continue and develop further can SMS “NKOSI” on 38010 – each sms costs R 10.00
Passing on, on 1st June, International Children’s Day, Nkosi no doubt wanted the world to remember not only that the fight against AIDS must continue, but that the neglect and suffering of children must end.
Photo: curtesy of Reuters
If you go onto www.backabuddy.co.za
Search for Nkosi’s Haven
Bottom of the page there is a project – Nkosi 10th Anniversay.
This page can accessed by using this URL: http://www.backabuddy.co.za/nkosis-10th-anniversary
Donors (international or local) can click on the above URL and it will immediately go onto the page and donate from there.