By Mduduzi Malinga
As the world commemorates World Aids Day on the 1st of December each year, this is an opportunity for people to show support to people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.
Meet Nozibele Qamngana, who found out about her HIV positive status in August 2013 at the age of 22, while participating in a wellness day program. Initially, she was shocked, disappointed and afraid, and even kept her status a secret from her family for 5 years while silently battling depression and suicidal thoughts.
Being diagnosed with HIV, her hardest decision was maintaining her “good girl” image while hiding her secret from her staunch Christian family. However, six years after her diagnosis, she finally found the courage to publicly disclose her HIV status and use her own story to inspire, engage and educate others on issues relating to health and HIV.
While battling the disease, Nozibele believed her life was not on hold; she went on to pursue her goals and she received noteworthy accolades, like the Nelson Mandela Business Chamber Top 40 under 40 achiever recognition, a Businesswoman Association of South Africa Regional Achievers Award, a Fruits of Democracy Award winner (civil society), a Vision4Women “Beyond the Balance Sheet” award finalist and South African International Youth Committee Ambassador. She also holds a National Diploma in Marketing, Bachelor of Technology in Marketing and a BA Honours Degree in Development studies.
Nozibele created a YouTube Channel that is based on her life living positively with HIV. In January 2020, her channel was named by Feedspot as one of the Top 15 HIV YouTube Channels on the web. The unstoppable Nozibele has launched her book- I Am Still Me – which is fast becoming a best-seller having sold over 1000 copies since the launch in April 2020.
On Monday 01 December 2020, Brand South Africa hosted a World Aids Day webinar on real life stories of people living a positive life despite being #HIV positive. Nozibele joined the panel where she shared her journey of living with HIV and how she changed her life for the better, despite the challenges.
Brand South Africa would also like to congratulate Nozibele who recently celebrated her one-year wedding anniversary with her husband, Sikhumbuzo Mayaba. The couple shares their interesting journey living positively as an HIV mixed-status couple.
Globally, there is an estimated 38 million people infected with HIV. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
For bookings please follow Nozibele Qamngana’s on these social media platforms: @noziqamngana on Twitter @noziqamngana on Instagram Nozibele Mayaba on Facebook https://www.noziqamngana.com/