Photo Stories: African Women and Kids
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Thembisa Mdatyulwe

Thembisa Mdatyulwe is 31 years old and lives with her two children, a 7 year old daughter and a five month old son, in Khayelitsha in a shack with no water or electricity. Thembisa was diagnosed with HIV in January 1999; her daughter has AIDS and is on anti-retroviral therapies (ARV); she doesn't know her son's status.

Thembisa's daughter requires oxygen for her treatment, which Thembisa keeps in her shack but can't use because they have no electricity. She has some tablets, which she gives her daughter instead of oxygen. Thembisa has to go 2 kilometers to get water and, when her daughter has to go to the bathroom, Thembisa helps her dig a hole and then covers it up. Her daughter doesn't know her status but her family does.

Thembisa wanted to join this project to shoot photos in her neighborhood. However, she did not feel comfortable talking with neighbors about the project.


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Thembisa Mdatyulwe

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Disclosing my HIV status was the biggest difficulty of my life. My mother has lost so many people to the virus and always said that she didn't want any of her children to have this disease.
Nwabisa Ndlokovane
Cape Town project participant


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