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POSITIVE LIVING FROM BIRTH

Keletso Thobega

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Tlotlo Lillian Moilwa is a 20-year old HIV/AIDS activist who has not allowed her status to define her.

Moilwa advocates for young people living with HIV, and uses her own story in her activism. During World AIDS Day commemorations in Mochudi in December, she delivered a moving speech that touched many including President Mokgweetsi Masisi and First Lady Neo Masisi.
They were seemingly touched by the young woman’s boldness and bravery and extended their support to her.

Moilwa is among thousands of young Batswana born between 1988 and 1998 who were born HIV positive.

This is largely because during that period HIV was still new and there was more misinformation and programmes such as PMTCT, that stop HIV transmission of HIV from mother to child had not yet been rolled out.

The pretty and bubbly Moilwa, a student at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology lost her mother and father when she was six and eight years old respectively.

At the time, little did she know what was really going on. It was only at ten years old that she realised what exactly was going on and her health status.

“One day I went through my medical records only to find ‘HIV transmitted from mother to child’ on it,” she recalls. She however says that she did not struggle to come to terms with her status.

“I did not imagine that I would be dying. I was fit and healthy and not on medication because I had kept my CD4 constant and viral load low. It was only when I was 16 that I went for tests and they indeed came back positive.

“My CD4 was at 306 and that is when I started taking medication,” she says. It was around this time that she reached out to other young people living with the virus.

“I met a group of young people living with HIV and that is when I realised that many people are failing to accept their HIV status. I decided to come out with my status as a way of helping others accept their status,” she says.

She knew that there were possibilities of facing stigma so she prepared herself psychologically. “This made it easy for me to deal with stigma when I came across it.”

One of the challenges she faced was at school because she had to regularly see a doctor and on her return she would have to explain to her teachers where she had been.

“It was difficult because at the time I was not ready to open up about my status.” Disclosing therefore helped her as she grew up and she did not need to constantly explain herself.

Although she has come across discrimination and stigma, it did not hit her hard because she realised early that the more one openly speaks about an issue the more people accept it and get used to it.

The activist says that developments in HIV/AIDS treatment such as PrEP and U=U (Undetectable=Untransmittable) are applaudable and can improve the lives of many people. She however notes that it is still equally important to be informed.

Moilwa urges everyone who is HIV positive to get rid of the mindset that HIV/AIDS kills. “Anyone who is HIV positive can lead a long and fruitful life if they adhere to their medication.

“I am proud to say that I am HIV positive and living my best life. To those who are negative, I say, keep it that way; abstain or condomise.”

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Kanye born actress on SA’s ‘The throne’

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Kanye born star, Koketso Mophuting managed to grow her acting career to greater heights after securing a role in Isibaya and is now an actress on South Africa’s weekly drama, The Throne.

The Throne is a television drama centred on the Kwena royal family, which portrays a vicious power struggle on which every family member desperately tries to serve their own interest. The drama airs from Monday to Thursday on DSTV channel 161. Her acting career began a long time ago, through her taking part in the local drama ‘Thokolosi’ in which she played Katlego.

In an interview with The Midweek Sun, passionate Mophuting said that it is never easy to wave Botswana’s flag high in the congested South African entertainment industry, but that will not deter her from achieving her dreams.

“Nothing good ever comes without hard work, I encourage local artists to work hard enough to build their own legacies,” she said.The 29-year old actress took part in a short film that was produced under her newly formed production company but has not been screened yet.

Mophuting also played ‘Gugu’ on Single Mothers and she had appeared on a television production called The Bantu Hour.Mophuting will be seen playing the role of Sethunya, a character in which she uses her beauty and charm to acquire better things for herself. “It is an exciting year to grow my brand and mostly my acting career,” she said. The Throne is a production by Ferguson Films owned by Connie and Shona Ferguson.

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BATSWANA BAD AT SEX

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For a long time, majority of Batswana have been shying away from holding conversations about sex and according to local author, Kagiso Bareki, many relationships and marriages do not last because of poor sex life.

Speaking during Gamaila Authors Empowerment Session and Exhibition, Bareki hinted that bad sex has destroyed majority of marriages and love affairs, hence he saw the need to write his book dubbed ‘Sex and Intimacy,’ which mainly teaches people how to have sex.

He has written 16 books, mainly Christian books and some novels. He encourages authors to keep writing books and confidently shares that writing books has destroyed his ability to work for someone else, as it is a career on its own.

Bareki said he wrote his most talked about book ‘Sex and Intimacy’ after he realised that majority of Batswana are bad at having sex, both men and women. “We have never been taught how to have sex, we have been taught how to communicate and how to budget but not how to have sex. The book I wrote capitalises on ‘how to,’ that couples need to properly do the foreplay, massages and know how to kiss during sex,” he said.

Asked whether there is a specific gender that needs to be taught how to have sex Bareki said that all genders are affected.“Re na le mathata. This sex issue is wrecking marriages and love affairs. Sex is a topic that we often avoid because some are just ashamed to speak about it openly, yet it is important,” he added.

Bareki has challenged married couples to create a proper environment for sex, further stating that there are things specifically designed for sex, such as enhancements, food and sex furniture that accommodate many sexual positions. “There are foods to eat during sex, yet many couples do not eat during sex,” said Bareki. He also said the book includes rules of sexual enjoyment, vaginal dryness and many other interesting topics.

He shared with authors that he promotes his books through the internet and that he has already sold 10 000 copies. Other authors who graced the event were Koziba Sebina, who is a professional speaker and international success coach, Belinda Lekone who spoke about her book, ‘Against all Odds’ and Member of Parliament for Kanye South Abram Kesupile.

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