Youth in Dialogue by wuyunyi


									Youth in
Prevention is key
November 2007

“Leading today”
The Youth Community Dialogues were held in Soshanguve, Gauteng; Mhluzi,
Mpumalanga; Lerome, North West; Giyani, Limpopo; Galeshewe, Northern Cape;
KwaMakhutha, KwaZulu-Natal; Thaba Nchu, Free State; Mthatha, Eastern Cape;
and Langa, Western Cape.
     he Nelson Mandela                The communities were:
     Foundation and 46664             ◊ Lerome, North West
     Campaign together                ◊ Mhluzi, Mpumalanga
held nine Youth Communi-              ◊ Thaba Nchu, Free State
ty Dialogues around South             ◊ KwaMakhutha, KwaZulu-Natal
Africa between November               ◊ Langa, Western Cape
11 and November 30, 2007.             ◊   Galeshewe, Northern Cape
   The dialogues encouraged           ◊   Mthatha, Eastern Cape
youth communities to empower          ◊   Giyani, Limpopo
themselves in the fight against       ◊   Soshanguve, Gauteng
HIV/AIDS, by finding ways to
deal with their problems through
engagement and debate. Close
to 5000 youth from around
the country were engaged in
discussions around factors that
put them at a greater risk of
HIV-infection, including youth
pessimism, peer pressure,
transactional sex, women abuse,
stigma and discrimination, social
marginalisation and poverty.
   The dialogue series targeted
youth aged between 16 and 24
in townships and rural areas,
a group often neglected by
awareness campaigns.
   As a principle, the dialogues
were not prescriptive and the
communities set their own            Community dialogue in Galeshewe, Northern Cape.
agendas. Young people were
encouraged to participate
and own the process. Each
community offered unique
challenges and solutions to
factors contributing to the spread
of HIV/AIDS in their area.
   The dialogues would not have
been possible without the help of
numerous partners. The Nelson
Mandela Foundation would
particularly like to acknowledge
the contribution of Cool Ideas
and Ochre Media.
   In this booklet, the dialogues
held at Mhluzi and Soshanguve
are highlighted as case studies.     Schoolchildren attending the dialogue in Mhluzi, Mpumalanga.

                                                                                    YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
Foreword                                             Page 5
About Community Dialogues                            Page 6
Key Observations and Learnings                       Page 8
Informing Future Dialogues                           Page 12
Dialogue Summaries:
        Lerome Village                               Page 15
        Giyani                                       Page 16
        Mhluzi                                       Page 17
        Thaba Nchu                                   Page 18
        Galeshewe                                    Page 19
        KwaMakhutha                                  Page 20
        Mthatha                                      Page 21
        Langa                                        Page 22
        Soshanguve                                   Page 23
Case Study: Mhluzi
        Mhluzi Youth Talk                            Page 24
        Key Issues Raised                            Page 27
        Interview with Themba                        Page 29
        Interview with Maleke                        Page 31
        Interview with Mlu                           Page 36
        Voices from the Community                    Page 38
Case Study: Soshanguve
        Soshanguve Youth Talk                        Page 40
        Key Issues Raised                            Page 42
        Group Interviews                             Page 46
The Role of Media in Social Mobilisation             Page 52
Using Arts to Mobilise Communities                   Page 55
        Looking Towards the Future                   Page 59
        Ambassador Close-up                          Page 61
        General Reflections                          Page 62
About the Nelson Mandela Foundation                  Page 63

The text in this booklet is an edited version of the Youth Community
Dialogues, which took place throughout the country in each province during
November 2007. Special thanks to our donor, Hasso Plattner, for making
this project possible and to Cool Ideas for their key role in the dialogues.

Achmat Dangor
CEO, Nelson Mandela Foundation

   n a world character-                 That is why the Nelson
   ised by what has been            Mandela Foundation, 46664
   called “information              and a number of partners
                                    chose to support dialogue
overload”, the paradox is           among young people,
                                                                         Achmat Dangor.
that those who are most             facilitated by young people          can be stimulated externally,
vulnerable to HIV infec-            for young people, within their       but ultimately it comes from
tion often do not have the          community settings.                  within.
knowledge they need to                  These dialogues are                 Of course knowledge
                                    summarised in this publication.      by itself is not power; it
protect themselves.
                                    It is our hope that it captures      is though a crucial step
                                    the fear and anxiety about           towards self-empowerment.
   Perhaps this is because of the   the things that make youth           There is no better strategy
way information is conveyed         vulnerable to AIDS, but also         than having young people
and mediated. Young people          the dynamism and energy that         themselves facilitate these
especially are bombarded            emerges when they engage             vital conversations. We intend
with messages; well meaning         with each other around some          ensuring that this first round
and earnest as these are often      very complex issues. Let us not      of community dialogues will
in their injunctions to youth       forget that AIDS is rooted in        be repeated in many more
to protect themselves, they         human sexuality and therefore        communities and among
do not always translate into        in human behaviour. Changing         many, many more young
knowledge and awareness.            this behaviour, where it is risky,   people throughout the country.

About 666
        6664 is Nelson Man-         the HIV/AIDS pandemic and            HIV/AIDS
        dela’s global HIV           the underlying issues that           and draws
        AIDS awareness              impact on the disease such as        upon an
and prevention campaign.            poverty, the lack of education,      extensive
                                    gender inequality, lack of           global
It is a South African-
                                    access to health facilities          network of
based independent, not-             and the denial of economic           ambassadors
for-profit entity wholly            opportunities.                       and
owned by the Nelson                    46664 achieves its objectives     celebrities.     The 46664 team.

Mandela Foundation.                 through outreach campaigns              Through
                                    in Africa and beyond, as well        the Community Dialogues
   The 46664 campaign is            as through the staging of            initiative, led by the NMF’s
a South African initiative          multi-artist concerts, sports        Centre for Dialogue, 46664
to inspire individual and           and entertainment events and         plays a vital role in challenging
collective action towards an        fundraisers. The campaign            young people to review their
AIDS-free world. At its core,       uses the universal connecting        knowledge about and attitudes
the campaign is about bringing      power of music, sport,               towards HIV/AIDS, and to
hope and inspiration to all         entertainment and celebrity to       work together to find effective
affected by HIV/AIDS. Thus,         educate, engage and empower          local responses to deal with the
46664 raises awareness about        those infected and affected by       pandemic.

                                                                                     YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
About Community Dialogues
Mothomang Diaho
Head of the Dialogue Programme, Nelson Mandela Foundation

      lot of responses to            genuine reflection
      HIV and AIDS to                of individual
      date have focused              and community
                                     concerns which
on raising awareness                 must ultimately be
using various messages.              incorporated into
Whilst there is value in             local plans and
this approach, efforts               subsequent national
must also focus on com-              plans for action. The
                                     involvement of local
munities taking respon-
                                     municipalities is
sibility and owning their            critical in ensuring
own responses to the                 that these concerns
epidemic.                            are eventually
                                     reflected and acted
   Our approach to involving         upon.
communities in this particular          The community
dialogue series centred around       dialogues deliberately
encouraging open discussion          used arts and the
and obtaining commitments            media to engage
to change that came from             young people. The
the communities themselves.          facilitation teams       Mothomang Diaho.
The dialogues provided a             worked hand-in-hand
safe space for communities           with Viva Hecate Productions,       in communities and to ensure
to engage without fear and to        which staged an industrial          wider engagement.
tackle difficult issues head on,     theatre production, Khululeka,         This form of community
thus preparing the way for           before each interactive dialogue engagement has been
them to decide on the actions        session. The play focused on        implemented in a number of
required in their particular         educating youth in a dynamic        countries with very different
circumstances.                       and entertaining way about          social, economic and political
   The facilitated dialogues         HIV/AIDS, and was a good            situations – including those
were guided by a clear               way to introduce some of the        with high and low prevalence
implementation process that          challenging issues around           rates, mostly rural and highly
included the identification          HIV/AIDS in a non-threatening urban ones. Innovative ways
of local partners within             and interesting way.                of engaging communities have
communities (the model works            In addition, as part of each     to be encouraged to enhance
best if it is facilitated by local   dialogue event, youth within        current responses to the
partners), follow-up visits          communities were encouraged epidemic.
by the facilitation teams and        to paint murals on walls with          In summary, the inclusive
documentation.                       messages that are relevant in       approach we strove to achieve
   The implementation phase          their lives. All the dialogue       through the youth community
was also followed by a series        events were announced to            dialogues aimed at stimulating
of review and reflection             the community through local         and sustaining change from
sessions with partners               community radio stations.           within, in order to help all
involved with the process.           The use of theatre, murals          involved understand and
   The data gathered at              and media together helped to        adopt the message, “It’s in our
these dialogue sessions is a         facilitate meaningful exchange hands”.


Young South Africans want more information
about HIV/AIDS, and they are open to receiving
this information from a variety of sources,
including the media. Most young South Africans
are knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS prevention
and treatment, although small but still significant
minorities hold misconceptions about some

Large majorities say they would like to have even
more information about various aspects of the            Participants in the Langa dialogue.
disease such as how to avoid getting HIV and how
to talk more openly with parents and other adults about HIV/AIDS. The media (including radio
and television), as well as national HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness campaigns which
utilise media, are highly regarded as effective ways for young people to learn about HIV. When
asked which sources they trust the most for information about HIV/AIDS, at the top of the
list are experts like doctors and scientists (87%), national HIV/AIDS prevention and education
campaigns (85%), HIV positive persons (80%), and parents (79%).

Overwhelmingly, young South Africans think that broadcast media has an important role to
play in HIV prevention. Nine in ten say TV and radio can help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS
by focusing attention on the sexual behaviour, attitudes and traditions driving the spread of
the epidemic.

An overwhelming majority think the media are doing a good job communicating with young
people about HIV/AIDS, and many report personally taking action as a result of what they’ve
learned from radio and TV programmes. Large majorities say that TV and radio are generally
doing a good job communicating about HIV/AIDS (96%), and that TV or radio has had a
positive impact on their own understanding of HIV/AIDS and related sexual behaviour (89%).
Half say they talked with a partner about safer sex, and more than four in ten report that they
decided to change their sexual behaviour as a result of what they learned about HIV/AIDS
from the media. Nearly a third of sexually active youth say they got tested for HIV as a result of
what they learned from a media programme.

                                           Young people are in favour of more HIV/AIDS
                                           messaging in the media, including messages that
                                           are hopeful and inspirational, as well as those that
                                           contain straightforward HIV prevention information.
                                           Eight in ten agree that there should be more HIV/
                                           AIDS messaging and programming on radio and TV,
                                           and large majorities agree that messaging should
                                           be hopeful and culturally relevant, tap into young
                                           people’s aspirations, and offer straightforward
Participants in the KwaMakthutha dialogue.
                                           information about how to prevent HIV. More than six
                                           in ten (63%) say that messages about fear and death
                                           turn young people off.
Source: “Young South African Broadcast Media and HIV/AIDS awareness: Results of a
national survey” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and SABC, March 2007

                                                                               YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
Key Observations and Learnings
From the Youth Community Dialogue Series
Final Report from Cool Ideas

Group discussions in the Lerome Community Hall, Lerome, North West Province.

      oung people                     the further spread of HIV by             socio-cultural, political and
                                      getting young people to use              economic environment and
      living with HIV
                                      existing resources at their              the extent to which they are
      and AIDS-affected               disposal.                                adopted by local leaders and
communities are often                    The dialogues also provided           community members. The
overlooked. Projects tend             a space for re-considering               Youth Community Dialogues
to focus on adults living             the developmental needs of               included the local communities
with HIV.                             young people living with                 and central leaders in
                                      HIV and AIDS in resource-                mobilising the interventions.
                                      poor communities, informed                  The social mobilisation
  Recognising this, the Nelson        by their experiences and                 strategy encouraged local
Mandela Foundation, through           priorities. The partners learned         responses with the purpose
the Youth Community                   through the nine dialogues               of ensuring that communities
Dialogues, began an                   that it is essential to build on         claim HIV and AIDS control
ambitious project that directly       and strengthen communication             approaches as their own,
addressed the impact of HIV           at the grassroots level in order         ultimately enhancing their
and AIDS on youth between             to link with wider advocacy              implementation.
the ages of 16 and 24 years of        and social mobilisation and                 The Youth Community
age. Instead of prescribing to        tackle inequity and the drivers          Dialogues were driven by local
them what to do, the project          of HIV and AIDS.                         participants as mobilisers and
put the responsibility into              It appears that the success           advocates, ensuring that local
young people’s hands by               of HIV prevention approaches             priorities are addressed and
emphasising prevention. The           is influenced by how they                that the dialogues will have an
approach is aimed at reducing         are adapted to the local                 impact in the long term.

Social mobilisation strategy
Target population                 Youth between the ages of 16 and 24 in townships and rural areas
Areas covered                     Lerome (North West); Mhluzi (Mpumalanga); Thaba Nchu (Free State);
                                  KwaMakhutha (KwaZulu-Natal); Langa (Western Cape); Galeshewe
                                  (Northern Cape); Mthatha (Eastern Cape); Giyani (Limpopo); Soshan-
                                  guve (Gauteng)
Communication channels            Interpersonal, small group, media, arts and traditional methods of
Purpose                           To persuade young men and women to participate in the Youth Com-
                                  munity Dialogues with a focus on preventing HIV/AIDS

Interpersonal Communication
The Nelson Mandela
Foundation employed
agency Cool Ideas to
establish relationships
with local non-
governmental, political
and governmental
organisations in targeted
   Local contacts
were used to assist in
organising the dialogues,
including community
development workers,
people living with
HIV and AIDS, ward
councillors, youth
leaders, church leaders
and other community
leaders. The local leaders
                            View of Lerome, North West Province.
also assisted in securing
suitable venues.                     ◊ Non-profit organisations      radio stations in all areas
   Face-to-face interventions        ◊ Shops                         where events took place.
were also used to persuade           ◊ Shopping malls                Interviews were broadcast on
the target audience to attend        ◊ Schools                       the following community radio
and participate in the Youth         ◊ Tertiary institutions         stations:
Community Dialogues.                                                 ◊ Soshanguve: Soshanguve
                                   Community Radio                   Community Radio and Radio
Small Groups                       Stations                          TUT
Small group interventions          Community radio stations          ◊ Lerome: Radio Mafisa and
reached:                           were utilised through             Radio Lethlabile
◊ Public libraries                 promotional spots, and            ◊ Giyani: Radio Univen
◊ Community clinics                e-mail lists were used to         ◊ Mhluzi: Greater Middelburg
◊ Churches                         invite the target market to       FM
◊ Ward committees                  attend the event. Continuous      ◊ Galeshewe: Radio
◊ Workplaces                       announcements and pre- and        Teemaneng
◊ Youth formations                 post-event interviews were        ◊ Mthatha: Unitra Community
◊ Public events                    broadcast on community            Radio

                                                                                 YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
Galeshewe participants came from the surrounding areas.

◊ KwaMakhutha: Imbokodo               KwaMakhutha. Stories on all       terminals, distributing the A5
Community Radio                       events were covered by all        invitation leaflet and talking
◊ Langa: Radio Zibonele               local newspapers.                 to locals about upcoming
◊ Thaba Nchu: Mosupatsela                More than 10 000 A1 posters    dialogues and the importance
Community Radio                       were distributed. These posters   of participation.
  Articles on the events were         were placed in strategic areas,      Word of mouth was
published by community                including schools, churches,      also used as a strategy to
newspapers in Mhluzi,                 junctions, taxi ranks, shops,     persuade the youth to attend
Galeshewe, Thaba Nchu and             public phone booths, taxis        and participate in the Youth
                                      and taverns. These were used      Community Dialogues.
One of the dancers at the             to capture attention. On the      Loudhailers were used to
KwaMakhutha dialogue.
                                      morning of each event, tear-      attract the participants to the
                                      drop banners were placed to       dialogues.
                                      remind the target group that
                                      the event was scheduled for       Partnerships and
                                      the day.                          Collaborations
                                                                        These were established with
                                      Traditional Methods               the public and private sectors
                                      Invitations were sent to          as well as civil society, using
                                      various stakeholders,             their influence to attract an
                                      including:                        audience. In certain areas
                                      ◊ non-profit organisations        the SA Police Service and
                                      ◊ churches                        municipal traffic officers were
                                      ◊ schools                         engaged. In Giyani, Mhluzi,
                                      ◊ tertiary institutions           Galeshewe, Mthatha and
                                      ◊ youth organisations             KwaMakhutha, the ANC
                                      ◊ ward councillors                parliamentary constituency
                                        Cool Ideas teams “blitzed”      offices assisted in mobilising
                                      taxi ranks and major bus          communities.

 Province                             Area                             Number of Participants
 North West                           Lerome                           380
 Limpopo                              Giyani                           550
 Mpumalanga                           Mhluzi                           371
 Free State                           Thaba Nchu                       289
 Northern Cape                        Galeshwe                         750
 KwaZulu-Natal                        KwaMakhutha                      463
 Eastern Cape                         Mthatha                          411
 Gauteng                              Soshanguve                       300
 Total                                                                 3514+

Activity Coverage
Participation                         and problems are; they also       recommendations and/
Participants came from                had an opportunity to make        or declarations on public
government departments,               recommendations with regard       murals after each dialogue.
nonprofit organisations,              to HIV and AIDS.                  The murals depict the 46664
schools, tertiary institutions           In Mhluzi and Soshanguve,      “It’s in your hands” emblem
and youth groups.                     20 young offenders                and serve as a continuous
   The Youth Community                participated in the dialogues.    reminder to the local youth
Dialogues offered young               These offenders gave the          about their commitments. The
people and communities                audience insight into the         dialogues have provided the
in the selected areas in all          challenges and problems of        Nelson Mandela Foundation
nine provinces of South               HIV and AIDS that they face in    with experiences and insights
Africa an opportunity to              correctional centres and how      from young people and
raise their voices on what            they tackle the issue.            will be drawn on in future
they think their challenges              Participants wrote their       initiatives.
A view of Giyani, Limpopo Province.

                                                                                 YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   11
Informing Future Dialogues
Paddy Nhlapo
Sipho “Paddy” Nhlapo of Cool Ideas is the programme co-ordinator for the Youth Community

     he social mobili-             to Soweto. In
     sation approach               Mpumalanga,
     included going                everyone would
                                   go to either
through databases of               Nelspruit or
people working in HIV              Witbank, the
and AIDS, community                key areas that
development and organ-             people know.
ised youth formations              If you go to
                                   North West
across the country.
                                   you would go
   We had to develop               to Mafikeng or
relationships, without             Rustenburg. We
promising any returns              chose a place
financially or otherwise, but      that was 70km
we had to cover the costs of       away from
local resources that assisted      Rustenburg,
our team and give a stipend of     a village that
some sort as 90% of the people     no-one knows
we work with as Cool Ideas         about: Lerome.
are unemployed youth and           Where’s that?
young adults.                      Right next to        Paddy Nhlapo.
   The advantages of working       Sun City. That
with local people include          community is                            We say “It’s in your
understanding local dynamics       highly affected, but there’s         hands” as a community to
and ensuring that you reach        no movie house, there are no         do something about HIV and
the right target audience. Local   sports grounds. For young            AIDS in your area or with
resources provide intelligence,    people, the only external            people you know, you grew up
insights and advice in shaping     activity is sex and getting          with, people you are intimate
a localised intervention. The      drunk.                               with, people who are close to
dialogue programme would              There is only so much             you.
not have been a success had it     that we can do on television            The stories vary from one
overlooked local people and        and on radio, but our focus          place to the next. In Lerome,
organisations.                     is to engage communities             they have a huge issue around
                                   directly. When we engage             youth facilities and in Giyani,
Choosing Small Towns               them we don’t come to preach         what comes out very clearly
   First we look at the number     to them. We bring the play           is training. Young people are
of activities that go into an      that highlights issues around        saying, “Give us skills, then we
area. We look at loveLife, the     HIV and AIDS and then                will do whatever we need to
Department of Health, who          communities engage and say           do on our own.”
does what in those areas.          what their problems are locally
We choose areas that are not       and what they think is the           Community Leadership
saturated.                         best way of dealing with their          It is important for local
   For example, everyone goes      problems.                            leaders to be at events, so they

View of Mthatha, Eastern Cape.

can take on these things. We          Because they know how           struggle, we didn’t have the
facilitate, saying “You know       to solve these problems, but       technology that we use today.
how to do these things, but we     it’s only when you’re there        I remember in my days in the
are reminding you that this is     that you get to know that          United Democratic Front, we
the way.” So, we are saying,       people have solutions. Then        would form street committees.
“In African culture this is how    you probe it. We’re not an         Our townships were the safest
things used to be, we used to      implementing agency, we’re         places, you never heard of
sit around under the trees.”       just the catalyst.                 house break-ins. There were
That’s why in our dictionaries                                        street committees, we were
we have lekgotla and imbizo.       Empowering                         so organised, but maybe it’s
These words emanate from           Communities                        because our enemy was easily
our origins and this is where         What we’re doing is             identifiable. Today, this enemy
community issues were dealt        empowering communities to          lives in the bloodstream of a
with, community problems           ensure that they deal with their   person. But I’m sure that there
were solved. So let’s go back to   problems and they find ways,       is a solution. It’s in people’s
basics, “an African solution to    resources, within or amongst       hands. We don’t have the
a global problem”. We are now      themselves, to deal with the       solution; it’s in people’s hands
making that a practical thing.     issues.                            to find that solution.
   If we could we would               This is because people             If only we could get extra
conduct these dialogues and        have a tendency to sit back        funding so we could go to
say, “Stop your television and     and waiting for a funder or        many other areas across the
your big billboards and engage     government or some corporate       country and say, “Stop looking
communities directly.” Know        to do something when they do       at someone else, look within,
what the person in the street,     not search within themselves       say what is it that I’m capable
what the neighbour, the person     to find what they are capable      of doing to ensure that I
in the shack in the village, in    of doing.                          prevent the spread of HIV, but
the farmhouse is saying.              If you look at the political    also to ensure that I protect

                                                                               YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   1
myself and other people                  which addressed real HIV and        my vision of the future?
around me.” If every one of us           AIDS issues. This awareness-           ◊ How can you best build
could take that responsibility,          raising component was located       upon the assets and strengths
you’d begin to see change.               in the mobilisation execution       of your community?
                                                        phase, which            There is only one expert who
                                                        helped the target    can answer these questions:
                                                        audiences to         the individual to whom these
                                                        evaluate the         questions were addressed.
                                                        consequences of      This is what we learned as a
                                                        different options.   social mobilisation team, as it
                                                           The Youth         kept becoming clearer that we
                                                        Community            would never be in a position to
                                                        Dialogue brought     provide people with answers
                                                        together divided     to their problems. Only when
                                                        groups of young      they come together and discuss
                                                        people in various    issues affecting them will
                                                        parts of the         there be tangible and authentic
                                                        country to talk      responses.
                                                        about how they          We learned that people have
                                                        could prevent        started believing that to win
                                                        the spread of        against the HIV and AIDS
                                                        HIV and also         epidemic in South Africa, they
                                                        contribute           have to start talking amongst
                                                        individually         themselves, whether young or
                                                        in their own         old – and not just any talk but
                                                        families and         talk that involves:
                                                        communities.            ◊ Questioning ourselves
                                                           The                  ◊ Listening to others
                                                        accompanying            ◊ Trying genuinely to see
Top: Participants in the Langa dialogue.                questions that       new angles on things.
Above: A member of the community speaks in the
Thaba Nchu dialogue.
                                                       young people             Generally, we discovered
                                                       had to ask during     that there are distinct
                                         the dialogues contributed           characteristics of a healthy
Key Questions Posed                      greatly to the success of           community. Once young
   ◊ Who are we as young                 this intervention. The social       people had engaged and
people and where do we stand mobilisation teams took no                      those characteristics were
in shaping our own destiny?              party-political position on         identified and accepted by
   ◊ What are the challenges             any issue but ensured that          participants, they began to
faced by young people in                 the dialogues were based            see what they have to work
preventing and dealing with              on honesty and genuine              towards in achieving a healthy
HIV?                                     situations.                         community that they could all
   ◊ How can each young                     At all the dialogue events       be proud of.
person participate to mitigate           we continued to ask young              The BIG QUESTION left
the effect of the HIV epidemic? people to additionally address               with the communities by the
   ◊ What is it that we can do           these additional questions:         facilitator was:
as young people in our own                  ◊ What is it that really            ◊ If you could improve one
environments and with our                matters to me in the social and     thing in your community right
available resources?                     political area?                     now, what would it be?
   The dialogue programme                   ◊ Why do these things               Wherever we conducted the
encouraged young people to               matter to me?                       Youth Community Dialogues,
become more aware of their                  ◊ Given that others disagree     we started community
deeper feelings about HIV and with me, what can I live with?                 activism and have truly
AIDS through the theatrical                 ◊ Can those I disagree with      embedded the message that
performance called Khululeka,            see a place for themselves in       “It’s in your hands.”

   Dialogue Summaries
  The following section includes summaries of the nine dialogues that were
  held throughout the country.

Lerome, North West
Lerome Community Hall, Lerome Village, Rustenburg, North West: November 11, 200

     erome is a mining community situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg near
     the Sun City holiday resort. Its members are part of the
     Setswana-speaking indigenous community,
the Royal Bafokeng.
Attendance                                                              sumlog
There were over 250 young people comprising community                  Ler m ue
members, members of non-governmental organisations
                                                                          om ar y
(NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs), loveLife
groundbreakers and community development workers in                          e :

The dialogue was facilitated by Phistos Molaole, a local HIV
and AIDS activist who is openly living with HIV. The dialogue
was open, frank and informative.
                                                                                    HANDY FACT
   The young people in Lerome were excited to see the                          loveLife is a
Khululeka play addressing issues they encounter every day. At                  South African HIV
first they were wary of expressing issues that are close to home     prevention programme for
and opted to discuss more generic problems with HIV and              young people; groundbreakers
AIDS. The last half hour of the event saw a more comfortable         are the organisation’s workers
audience who were more willing to say “we” and “I” instead           implementing HIV/AIDS
of pointing fingers at each other.                                   and lifestyle education
   The area experiences poverty but is located near a lucrative
mining operation and Sun City. Hence female youth in the area
have found themselves in a vulnerable position
in which they trade unprotected sex.

◊  “We should go into the mines and re-instil
a sense of moral code to the irresponsible
mineworkers.” (Leonard, 21)
◊  “We need more youth facilities in the area.
Soccer grounds, youth centres, cultural halls,
etc.” (Julia, 32)
◊  “We need to have facilities where young
people are encouraged to do some acting and
drama classes, so they can establish careers
and use the platform to carry out positive
messages.” (Clement, 21)                         Dialogue participants in Lerome.

                                                                                     YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   1
Giyani, Limpopo                                                                sumlog
                                                                              Giy m ue
Giyani Community Hall, Giyani, Limpopo: November 1, 200                        an ar y
                                                                                    i    :

       iyani is a conserva-
       tive community
       that subscribes to
customary practices. For
instance, a young person
cannot talk to an older
person unless instructed
to do so. Stigma around
HIV and AIDS is rife, talk-
ing about sex is taboo and
people with AIDS are still
ostracised. The youth have
not organised themselves
to have platforms at which
HIV and AIDS issues are
discussed. Young people
are insensitive to HIV and
AIDS messaging for fear
of being stereotyped.

There were over 550 young
people and older community
members, members of NGOs,
CBOs, loveLife groundbreakers,
community development
workers, the ANC Youth League
and youth clubs.

The dialogue was facilitated by
                                     Top: Discussions at the Giyani dialogue.
Lesley Nkosi with assistance
                                     Above: A view of Giyani showing the poster that advertised the event.
from an interpreter and advisor
from the district Department
of Health. A language advisor/translator was hired for the day to overcome some language
   Young people vowed to get talking about sex and HIV and AIDS. The older youth will talk to
the younger youth about sex in order to protect them from its dangers and the younger youth will
in turn look up to the older youth for exemplary behaviour.
   The youth identified poverty as the main cause of youth becoming vulnerable. The effects of
dogmatic cultural norms are evident. The participants want to turn cultural weaknesses into
strengths, becoming role models for each other. They will also encourage dialogue with their elders
about such issues such as sexuality, sex and HIV.

Mhluzi, Mpumalanga
St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Mhluzi, Middelburg, Mpumalanga: November 1, 200

T                                                                       sumlog
     he Mhluzi community adheres strongly to custom-
     ary practices. The stigma around HIV and AIDS is
     widespread and people living with HIV and AIDS                    Mh m ue
are detested. Young people are conscious about HIV and                    luz ar y
AIDS messaging, but would not dare tackle the subject                        i     :
openly for fear of being labelled.

About 380 young people comprising community members, members of NGOs, CBOs, loveLife
groundbreakers, community development workers, local municipality representatives, Witbank
Correctional Facility and Middelburg Correctional Facility offenders and warders attended the

                                                          In the initial stages of the dialogue
                                                          session, the youth were wary of
                                                          expressing issues that were close to
                                                          home, but the discussion soon got
                                                          heated and they started arguing
                                                          about problems in a forthright way..
                                                             Offenders from local correctional
                                                          facilities talked about accountability
                                                          and young people appreciating what
                                                          they have and being responsible. A
                                                          poem by one of the offenders touched
                                                          the audience. The stage was used to
                                                          seat the audience, giving a grandstand
                                                          effect, which proved more intimate for
                                                          the youth as they faced each other and
                                                          seriously engaged on issues.

                                                          ◊  Talk more to each other about HIV
                                                          and AIDS.
                                                          ◊  Encourage each other to be more
                                                          ambitious and not lustful.
                                                          ◊  Look after each other as brothers
                                                          and sisters and abstain.
                                                          ◊  Empower parents with information
                                                          on how to be better role models.
                                                          ◊  Maleke, 17, says: “Young people
                                                          have the responsibility to live for a
                                                          freedom for which those before us
                                                          have fought and died. It’s in our
Top: Participants at the Mhluzi dialogue.
Above: Group discussions at the Mhluzi dialogue.

                                                                          YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   1
Thaba Nchu, Free State
Moroka High School Hall, Thaba Nchu, Free State: November 1, 200

      waqwa and Botshabelo are small but densely
      populated areas, with low levels of employment.                    dia
      Poverty leads youngsters to desperate acts of es-                 sumlog
capism and self-destruction. Young people are in such
                                                                       Tha m ue
denial that when the 150 young people attending the
                                                                          ba ar y
dialogue session were asked if they knew any infected
people in their community, fewer than a handful put                          N :       chu
up their hands.

289 people were in

The community
dialogue session was
facilitated by Lesley
Nkosi. In the initial
stages of the dialogue
session, it seemed as
if people had been
instructed not to
talk. After a few ice-
breakers, the floor was
opened to comments
and questions. The
youth said that young
girls deliberately fall
pregnant in order
to access the R400       A view of Thaba Nchu.
a month child-care
grants paid by the government. Young people do not support other young people’s initiatives to
create HIV and AIDS awareness. As a result of this, there are no youth organisations in the area.
    Parents and other adults stigmatise infected people and curse their actions, saying they deserved
it. Young people will not publicly admit they are infected. Young men don’t test their HIV status,
but rather try to find out through their partners’ results. In the group interviews, a more intimate
account of the youth’s challenges came out. Poverty was highlighted as the main cause of youth
becoming vulnerable.

◊ Keneilwe, 17, says she will go out to the taverns with posters she will make and get the youth
out of taverns and away from shop corners, and back into the community. She will get them to talk
and act.
◊ Other young people have vowed to get tested and know their status.
◊ Others will support those infected and affected.

Galeshewe, Northern Cape
Kimberley Community Hall, Galeshewe, Northern Cape:
November 20, 200
                                                                          Ga m ue
G                                                                            les ar y
       aleshewe suffers from rife alcoholism and a high
       rate of teenage pregnancy. The older generation
                                                                                he :
       do not talk to their children. It is not uncommon
to find 12-year-olds getting drunk and spending their
evenings at taverns.

  There is pressure to be seen in the latest trendy clothing, sporting the most expensive sneakers
and carrying the latest mobile phone. Peers consider these assets as the greatest achievements in
their young lives. Young girls exchange sexual favours with older men for money.

Over 750 people attended, with some having to stand in the 600-capacity hall. The enthusiastic crowd
comprised community members, members of NGOs, CBOs, loveLife groundbreakers, community
development workers, educators, members of the ANC Youth league, etc.

This dialogue was considered the best of the series, not only because the youth were passionate
and engaging, but also because of the pace at which the issues were exposed and the strong
commitment the youth showed to stopping the spread of HIV themselves.

The Youth Noted
◊  culture of alcoholism is crippling the youth. Either the elders are too drunk to listen when
their children reach out, or the youth are too drunk to heed the messaging, which they admit is
◊ Dialogue among the youth should be encouraged.
◊ Youth need to shift their energies from trying to impress each other and work on their dreams.
◊ Homosexuals are part of the community, too. They are part of the problem and want to be
accepted as part of the solution, too.
◊  church should play a role in HIV/AIDS issues and stop pretending people are not dying.
                                                              ◊  elders should also stop pointing
                                                              fingers at young people; they need
                                                              to take their place and start guiding
                                                              young people in life. They should stop
                                                              considering sex talk taboo because
                                                              whether or not they want to admit it,
                                                              young people are having sex.

                                                            ◊ Young people are tired of standing
                                                            on the sidelines and waiting for
                                                            someone to do something about AIDS,
                                                            so they are all committed to changing
                                                            ◊ Young people need to be proactive
                                                            and engage in community activities.
The community of Galeshewe.                                 ◊ Dialogue should be encouraged.

                                                                              YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   1
KwaMakhutha, KwaZulu-Natal
Phumelele Community Hall, KwaMakhutha, Isipingo, KwaZulu-Natal: November 22, 200

      buse of women and
      children is rife in this
      region, where there is
a myth that sex with a virgin
cures HIV/AIDS. Alcoholism
is common in this small com-
munity and older people are
not held accountable for their
drinking habits.

   Conservative and rigid cultural
stereotypes limit dialogue and
communication. It is one of the
worst-affected areas in the country   Participants in the Phumelele Community Hall, KwaMakhutha.
and young people are keen to talk
about solutions here.
   There is a gap in communication between young people
and the elders in the community. Young girls exchange sexual              sumlog
                                                                           aM mar e
favours with older men who give them money.                              Kw
Attendance                                                                    akh y:
850 people crammed into the 800-capacity hall.                                   u         tha
The dialogue was facilitated by Lesley Nkosi. 46664 brand
ambassador Thembi and her boyfriend, Melikhaya, were there
to encourage those who are already infected to have hope for a whole future with HIV as young
   Three people stood up and disclosed their HIV-positive status. It was an advantage to have
SA Police Services and NAPWA (National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS)
representatives at the dialogue, especially when a woman who had been raped was crying out for
help and they offered to assist.

The Youth Noted
◊ There is no peer pressure if you know who you want to be and you focus on your dreams.
◊ Alcoholism is a culture here, and it is the main cause of irresponsible behaviour that makes
HIV spread quickly in KwaMakhutha.
◊ Government cannot expect young people to work for free to address HIV issues. If they are
paid, they will give their all in the fight.

◊ Young people must create network support structures so they can discuss solutions to the
problems they face.
◊ Young and older people’s values and attitudes are a concern and they must change.
◊ Encourage elders to start talking about HIV/AIDS.

Mthatha, Eastern Cape
St Paul’s Catholic Church, Ngangelizwe Township, Mthatha, Eastern Cape:
November 2, 200                                                                   dia
                                                                                  Mt m ue
                                                                                     ha ar y
     his is one of the worst-affected areas in the country.
     Women and child abuse is rife in this region and the                               tha :
     myth that sex with a virgin cures AIDS is prevalent.
Conservative and rigid cultural stereotypes limit dialogue
and communication, and elders rarely talk to their children
about sex.

A disappointing crowd of 90 attended. Attracting a
young crowd on a weekend to a “clean” fun event
proved challenging in Mthatha. Youth preferred going
to parties and taverns than coming to the aggressively
promoted Youth Community Dialogue.

The dialogue was facilitated by Lesley Nkosi. The audience
received the messaging positively and embraced the idea
of coming together and fighting together. The few youth
who attended did not approve of the youth community’s
behaviour and wanted to do something about it.

The Youth Noted
◊  Youth in this township have sex at an early age, which
creates a lot of social problems.
◊  Young people also indulge in heavy drugs at an early
age.                                                         Ngangelizwe Township, Mthatha.
◊  They take cocaine and other drugs that put them at
risk, like crack cocaine, which they take with shared

During the group interviews, participants gave far more intimate details
(these are paraphrased here)
◊ “Girls my age like to do things they are not ready for. They don’t listen when they are told
to abstain and they carry on being promiscuous. This spreads HIV because they refuse to use
◊ “Another problem in this community is that boys have no respect for girls at all. I was
kidnapped by boys I knew a few years ago. These boys were supposed to protect me but they
decided to take me to a house where a taxi driver lived and raped me repeatedly all night. They
did not use condoms.”
◊ “From now on I want to start talking more, using organisations like loveLife.”
◊ “Young people give in to peer pressure, not realising that they have something more precious
than just belonging in groups: their lives.”
◊ “Twelve-year-olds are sexually active these days because of pressure from their friends. This
happens because young people have no sense of pride. They do not have dreams of their own.”
◊ “Teenage girls are the ones getting infected with HIV more and that terrified me.”

                                                                                 YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   21
Langa, Western Cape
Johnson Ngwevela Community Hall, Langa, Cape Town:
November 2, 200
                                                                         Lan maue
C                                                                            ga r y:
       onservative and inflexible cultural stereotypes
       limit dialogue and communication, peer pressure
       is a major problem in this area and there is a gap
in communication between young people and the elders
in the community.

There were over 400 young people.

The dialogue was facilitated by Lesley Nkosi. A number of issues came up around drug and
alcohol abuse, peer pressure and early first sexual encounters, and the dialogue was open, frank
and informative.

The Youth Noted
◊ Peer pressure and drug abuse are serious problems, which help the spread of HIV and AIDS in
this community.
◊ Youth have sex at an early age. “Most of the kids in my class have had sex and are not even
ashamed to show off about it. It puts us at great risk.” (16-year-old)
◊ Drug and alcohol abuse puts young people in great danger of infection and spreads the virus
in the community. When you are drugged and drunk, you are not aware of what happens to you,
especially as a young woman. Young people are exposed to abuse at a very young age.
◊ HIV affects everyone.
◊  must not only start talking but also advise young people and adults around me about all the
dangers of HIV and drugs.” (21-year-old)
◊ “Our behaviour has to change and it starts with me!”
Participants in the Johnson Ngwevela Community Hall, Langa.

Soshanguve, Gauteng
Galala Community Hall, Soshanguve, Gauteng: November 0, 200

T                                                                           So m ue
     his community suffers from alcohol and drug abuse.
     Poverty makes youth desperate and vulnerable, and                        sh ar
     youth recreational facilities are limited. There is also                    an y:
a prostitution problem in the area, where young girls are                          g         uve
said to be prostituted by older women.

Over 300 young people comprising learners and educators, community members, members of
NGOs, CBOs, loveLife groundbreakers, community development workers, criminal offenders and
guards from the correctional services facility and other interested youth attended the dialogue.

The dialogue was facilitated by Lebo Ramafoko, the “agony aunt” on the website.
The youth noted that issues of peer pressure and drug abuse are serious problems which help
spread HIV and AIDS in the community. They said that youth have sex at an early age and that it’s
important that impressionable minds are fed positive influences.

The Youth Noted
◊  “There is a brothel in one of the houses in Soshanguve, I have not personally seen it, but it is said
to be run by women. They prey on young, impressionable girls of 12 years old and upwards and
sell their bodies to dirty men looking for a little fun.”
◊  Youth today lack passion and drive.
◊  Poverty is the main cause of this behaviour. This is because young people do not have the
confidence in themselves to avoid being influenced by petty things.
                                                          ◊  “We must not bore young people with
                                                          lectures about HIV and AIDS since they’ve
                                                          heard it all before and still do not take
                                                          heed. We need to adopt creative means to
                                                          get through to them, like poetry. We can
                                                          also reach out to them by going to schools
                                                          and use these creative vehicles to send
                                                          positive messages of self worth.” (Pulane,
                                                          ◊  During school holidays, young people
                                                          mill around taverns because they’re
                                                          bored. They find themselves indulging
                                                          in dangerous substances like nyaope (a
                                                          mixture of heroin and dagga) and alcohol.
The Galala Community Hall, Soshanguve.                    This promotes irresponsible behaviour
                                                          where they have sex without condoms and
they don’t even remember. They lose control and end up raping each other.
◊ Parents don’t talk to their children and that crucial break in communication makes the youth
swim in dangerous pools of irresponsible behaviour.
◊ “Government has to intervene in this community and work with young people. Perceptions have
to be changed.” (Zack, 20)

                                                                                 YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   2

   Case Study
   The following section is a Case Study on the dialogue that was held in
   Mhluzi, Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

‘It’s in our hands’ – Middelburg youth highlight HIV/AIDS issues

     outh Commu-                   as fast as the car of that name           Mokgoapkama hurries back
     nity Dialogue Pro-            goes), or “three letters” when            inside to capture his second
     gramme engages                referring to the virus.                   HIV/AIDS-event story of
                                      “People just don’t want to             the year. “These awareness
youth in small towns               talk about it,” says Martin               campaigns are still considered
across South Africa.               Mokgoapkama, 26, a reporter               soft news,” he notes.
                                   from the Middelburg Herald.
It’s 1pm and about 30°C in         “We still have a mentality that           Engaging the wider
Mhluzi, a township just outside    ‘If I attend that awareness               community
the coal-mining town of            [event], my neighbours will               Facilitator Lesley Nkosi says
Middelburg in Mpumalanga,          think that I’m HIV-positive.’”            every community has unique
South Africa. People melt into        Nevertheless, the event is             issues that only it can solve.
St Peter’s Lutheran Church,        reasonably attended, with                    There are no celebrities, no
ushered in by the loudhailers of   most of the church’s pews                 VIPs at this dialogue event.
the local police announcing the    filled with the target age group The VIP area has been taken
upcoming dialogue on HIV/          – 16 to 24-year-olds – as well as over by prisoners and wardens
AIDS as well as by promotional     a smattering of older folk.               from the nearby Witbank
inserts on the local radio            Mokgoapkama says he                    correctional services facility.
station, Greater Middelburg        doesn’t know the infection rate Unshackled and dressed in
FM (GMFM). The Middelburg          in the town and
event is the third event in a      has never written
series of community dialogues      an article in
funded by the Nelson Mandela       which someone
Foundation leading up to the       has spoken
46664 concert on December 1,       about their HIV
World AIDS Day.                    status, despite
Youth tackling stigma              estimated 15%
and discrimination                 HIV prevalence
These events don’t come            rate.
around often, and stigma              Inside the
around HIV/AIDS is rife:           church hall, the
locals often use terms such as     music begins
“Z3” (because it takes your life   to blare and          Youth facilitator in Mhluzi.

                                                                             participants both ask the
                                                                             questions and answer them.
                                                                                The roving microphones
                                                                             filter up and down the
                                                                             rows of people, snapped
                                                                             up by outstretched arms.
                                                                             Nkosi does have a rule
                                                                             though. Before someone can
                                                                             make a point, they have to
                                                                             identify themselves and say
                                                                             “Togetherness”, to which
                                                                             the participants respond
                                                                             “ke ntho e monate (is a nice
                                                                             thing).” Some forget to stand
Schoolchildren attending the Mhluzi dialogue.                                up, to which the participants
                                                                             respond: “Uzivese sikubone
matching suits, they’ve been            Which is Drink more liquor, Expel    (show yourself so we see
invited to share their stories          her assertivity and Force yourself   you).” He also encourages
with the youth. There are               into her ...”                        participants to use inclusive
rumours that the premier may                                                 terms such as “we” and
arrive, but there’s no waiting          It Is in YOUR Hands                  “us”, instead of “they” and
for dignitaries. The event              A troupe of 46664 actors begins      “them”, to emphasise their
begins at 1pm, on time.                 their play, Khululeka, mixing        togetherness.
   “When you go into it, you’ve         humour with contemporary                Issues around the future
got to be really open-minded            beats as they promote common         aspirations of the youth come
to whatever possibilities there         prevention messages.                 up often, clearly a central
can be,” Nkosi says. “All                  “Can you get HIV from             concern for those living on the
you’ve got to do is make sure           touching someone’s hand?” an         outskirts of a small town.
that you encourage people to            actor asks the audience. “No,”          “Be sure of what you want
talk about their issues to each         comes the resounding call.           to be,” says one participant.
other and not to me.                       “Okay, this is a more             “Be a first-class version of
   “We’re taking the                    difficult one. Can you get HIV       yourself, not a second-class
responsibility of HIV/AIDS              from a mosquito bite?” Yeses         version of someone else,” says
back to the community                   and nos compete. “Ahh, so            another. Everyone seems to
through young people,” he               we do have a lot to learn,” the      have a catchphrase, a slogan
continues. “We’re trying to             actor replies.                       they’re holding onto.
establish the unique problems              The play ends with
with regard to HIV and AIDS             instructions on how to put on        Sugar Daddies
in the communities … and                a male and a female condom.          The issue of “sugar daddies”
then see if we can come up              The female condom draws              – rich older men who reward
with specific, unique solutions         whoops of laughter from              their young girlfriends with
to these problems and then              the audience. After the play,        gifts and money in return for
have the youth make unique              Nkosi calls the audience to the      sex – is raised. “What I see is
commitments.”                           front of the church. Nobody          that girls are easily influenced
   One of the prisoners,                moves out of their chairs. He        with a lot of things. Most
“Senzo”, stands up and reads            pleads again and then finally        girls like nice things and like
his poem, How could I have been         instructs those sitting at the       things they know they don’t
so irresponsible?:                      back to take a position on           have. They come from poor
   “I mean, constant, cautious          the front steps leading to the       backgrounds but they are
reminders ran through my                stage. A conversion is taking        going to look for guys with
ignorant skull … / They were            place – audience members are         cars,” says Tshepo.
simple as ABC / Which was               becoming participants.                  “It’s not that girls are
abstain, be faithful or condomise /        Nkosi doesn’t often ask           forward; boys, you’ve got
But no, I chose to jump to DEF /        questions. In fact, he lets the      sweet words so that we

                                                                                       YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   2
girls can be pressured,”           that we are going to get more           Mlungisi, 15, agrees. “The
says Hlengiwe. “A guy can          information, or get some more        first time I knew AIDS it
pressurise a girl with anything,   details on HIV/AIDS, but we          was because of [the child
sweet words, you can buy           are going to go there because        activist] Nkosi Johnson. Nkosi
her a gift and if the girl is      some stars are going there.          Johnson was about to die, or
stupid enough they will be             “Say for example they            was thin, that image is still in
pressured.”                        say Zola is coming, Chomi            my mind, that when I have
   Nkosi says Lerome’s youth       is coming, we’re going               AIDS obviously I’m going to
is focused on issues around        there for those celebrities,         lose weight, all that pain and
“aspiration”, specifically         we’re not going there to get         everything.
youth who have transactional       more information or to get              “It was introduced as
sex with men who work in           enlightened.”                        this disease, as a killer, as a
the mines. “The guy is going           She says a public talk show      murderer, that if I have HIV/
out with six other girls in the    in the community would be            AIDS, I’m already dead. It
community, but because you         better. “But I do not want           would be better if I kill myself.
can buy me nice shoes and          them to come and point               It was introduced as a killer,
nice clothing, I don’t mind …      fingers … rather than them           not as TB [which is treatable].”
But these guys also have the       performing, they should                 The organisers have
power to say, ‘why would you       speak about their experiences,       purposefully chosen small
want me to wear a condom,          and they shouldn’t make up           towns and villages in South
don’t you trust me?’ You could     experiences,” she says.              Africa for these dialogue
imagine with older people,             Themba, 16, says HIV/            sessions, in the hope of
they don’t believe in using        AIDS messaging creates fear          making meaningful impacts in
condoms.”                          in some minds. “Although             often neglected places.
                                                     they were             “We wanted to choose areas
                                                     trying to voice    that are not saturated,” says
                                                     out or they        programme manager Sipho
                                                     were trying to     “Paddy“ Nhlapo. “Who funds
                                                     sell the idea to   projects here? If you find five,
                                                     people [about      you will be extremely lucky.
                                                     the dangers of        “There’s only so much you
                                                     AIDS], it made     can do on television and on
                                                     them scared.       radio, but our focus is to engage
                                                     Instead of         communities directly. When we
                                                     making them        engage them, we don’t come
                                                     conscious of it,   to preach to them. We bring
                                                     they are more      the play that highlights issues
                                                     scared of it.”     around HIV and AIDS, and
                                                        Themba          then communities engage and
Youth facilitators in Mhluzi.                        and Maleke         say what their problems locally
                                                     host a show        are and what they think is the
                                                     on local radio     best way of dealing with their
Getting the messages               (sponsored by the HIV/AIDS           problems.”
through                            non-governmental organisation
In a smaller session after         loveLife) that discusses issues
the main dialogue, Nkosi           that concern young people            Youth Keeping the
interviews a group of              in the area, especially HIV/         Promise
teenagers. Maleke, “17             AIDS. “I’m trying to make it         A mural is painted on a public
turning 18 next year”, tells       appealing for them to accept         wall after each event. As the
him that celebrity-driven          it, for them to be keen on it        team leaves Mhluzi for their
music “bashes” in their area       because they are running             next small-town destination,
don’t work to drive behaviour      away, because of the way we          a local artist paints: “Put
change. “People … we … will        introduced it to them [as] a         yourself first; practise self-
go there not having an aim         killer disease,” says Themba.        control; be …”

Key Issues Raised
                                    done nothing wrong. It’s our                  HANDY FACT
       case                         forwardness, and yes, I admit,
                                    we are forward. What I’m
                                                                                   The South African
       study:                       saying is that as girls going
                                                                                   National HIV Prevalence,
                                                                          HIV Incidence, Behaviour and
       Mhluzi                       after a man who’s 38, what are
                                    you expecting from that man?
                                                                          Communication Survey, 2005,
                                                                          commissioned by the Nelson
                                       Secondly, a 38-year-old man
                                                                          Mandela Foundation with
                                    doesn’t love you, he just wants
Bathabile                           to make you a trophy for the
                                                                          additional support from the US
From everything you’ve learnt       time being. And you want to           Centers for Disease Control and
from the show, we understand        say no to him when he wants to        Prevention, found that of all new HIV
that the people who are more        sleep with you, when you were         infections, 34% occurred in young
vulnerable to HIV are women.        the one who went after him            people in the 15-24 age group. The
Maybe you can tell me or            in the streets? We girls must         HIV incidence among women in the
explain to us why it’s like that,   also use our brains and think         age group 20-29 was 5.6%, six times
why is it so?                       because you’re going after an         higher than in males of the same
                                    old man, the next thing you’ll        age (0.9%). Among young people in
Veronica                            cry rape and you were the one         the 15-24 year age group, women
My answer is that amongst the       who went after him.                   accounted for 90% of all recent HIV
young people or the community,                                            infections.
it’s because poverty is there       Tshepo                                In Sub-Saharan Africa, almost 61%
and then it’s the pressure from     What I see is that girls are easily   of adults living with HIV in 2007
friends. Amongst friends, if my     influenced. Most girls like nice      were women. Source: UNAIDS
friend is dating a guy with the     things they don’t have. They
                                                                          2007 AIDS Epidemic Update
new Golf 5, and at home we          come from poor backgrounds
have no bread, and my friend        but they are going to look for
eats at KFC, I also adopt and do    guys with cars; these guys
those things.                       are sugar daddies. And this                   HANDY FACT
                                    puts them at risk of getting                  Sugar Daddies
Phindile                            HIV because they want things                  Sex in exchange for money
The thing is according to my        they can’t achieve rather than        or goods is often referred to as
understanding and the way           starting their lives afresh.                             ,
                                                                          “transactional sex” suggesting a
I was taught at loveLife, we                                              short-term encounter for short-
women are carriers of this thing    Precious                              term financial or material gain.
because it stays inside us. I       You’ll find that a child 16 years     Being unemployed results in
mean, our body parts are inside     old is dating a 25-year-old. I        needs for basic items such as
so this virus also lives inside;    mean, come on, if you are 16          food or money. Sexual exchange
it’s inside so that’s why you       years old, what do you talk           provides a means for survival.
find that we also spread it. The    about with a man who’s 25?            Economic dependence on a
sooner you know it the better.      And most of the time we do            sexual partner may also be
                                    that because we’ve got peer
Thuliswa                            pressure and that kind of
                                                                          disempowering in relation to HIV
                                                                          prevention. Source: “Concurrent
I would like to defend our          stuff. We’ve also got this thing
                                                                          sexual partnerships among
fathers [older men in the           that someone with no car is a
community]. I’ve been hearing       Yellow Pages [The Yellow Pages        young adults in South Africa“, by
about fathers who are 48            business directory slogan is “let     Parker W, Makhubele B, Ntlabati
and 38. These fathers have          your fingers do the walking”],        P and Connolly C, 2006

                                                                                  YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   2
        HANDY FACTS                you get what I’m
        Why are women              saying? Yes, we
        more vulnerable to         want sugar daddies
infection than men?                because my friend
                                   is wearing Levi’s
• Biological factors: The          and I also want to
vaginal lining is more             wear Levi’s.
susceptible to infection, so
unprotected vaginal sex is
                                   Sometimes you
more dangerous for a woman
                                   don’t want to test
than for a man.
                                   and then you go
• Social factors: Women have       ahead having sex          An audience member participates in the Mhluzi dialogue.
less say in when, how and          without knowing
with whom they have sex,           your status and in                     is trying to make a life for their
and women in relationships         that way you spread HIV/               kids, what if this happened to
may not be able to negotiate       AIDS.                                  your parents, you wouldn’t like
for monogamy or safer sex             And then there is a point           it, get me?
practices. Women are also          made about sometimes a
victims of sexual violence and     person likes bling-blings, these       Hlengiwe
domestic violence. Women           nice cars and these expensive          With most of us, there’s a lack
are less likely to have a say in   cellphones. Sometimes you do           of communication between
what kind of HIV prevention        have a choice to say no, but           parents and their children. And
methods they use when they         the problem is you are being           then, when a 16-year-old child
do have sex. There are few         pressured to do these things.          is sleeping with a 38-year-old
safer sex methods that are         Imagine someone like me, let’s         person, how do you feel? And
                                   say I’m 16 years old and then          you are a young child getting
female controlled, and none
                                   the person, maybe the one who into a Golf 4 of a man with a
that can be used without her
                                   drives the Golf 5, is 48 years         six-year-old child, how do you
partner’s knowledge.
                                   old, I mean there’s nothing I          feel?
• Economic factors: Because        can tell him because firstly this          And Tshepo, I just want to
women in South Africa              person is older.                       tell you that it’s not that girls
and single mothers in                                                     are forward, boys have got
particular are economically        Richard                                sweet words so that we girls
disadvantaged, their               Okay you girls, let’s say you’re       can get pressured. A boy can
access to health care is           dating someone with a car,             pressurise a girl with anything,
compromised. Women in              you love this person because           you can tell her sweet words,
violent relationships are          of the car. When he leaves the         you can buy her gifts and if the
also limited in their ability to   car maybe and he takes off the         girl is stupid, she will do it.
leave because they have few        jewellery, what do you then                Girls are not forward, it’s
economic resources. Poor           see? Do you still see something that our backgrounds are
women have less access to          in him, something attracting           not the same. One can be
information and resources          you to him?                            pressurised by a friend and one
that will help them make              You guys, most of the time          thing for sure is that we come
                                   there’s a lot we can do but what from different families. I have
informed choices. HIV-
                                   we do is sit at the street corners. girlfriends, they pressurise me
positive women who are poor
                                   We smoke, a mother walks by            to date a guy who’ll buy me
also cannot make healthy           and you trip them and take             Levi’s. If you’re going to laugh
lifestyle choices or access        their money; when you think            as a girl and make excuses, you
drugs that may keep them           about it, this person was just         will pressurise yourself and
healthy for longer.                making a life for their kids, they be pressurised but when you
Source: http://www.                are a parent, isn’t it? So what is     say “No I don’t want to,” your          good in that? Let’s stop this not “no” must be clear. Don’t mince
aids.htm                           using our brains. This person          your words.

Interview with Themba, 16
Themba                                 Les
My mother is a caregiver;              So people in Mhluzi are scared
she works in home-based                of HIV?                                         case
care; she usually takes care
of those people infected with          Themba                                          study:
HIV/AIDS and in my view,
especially in Mhluzi, I feel
                                       Yes they are scared, because of
                                       the information that they got.
like HIV-positive people are
isolated.                              Les
   There is some sort of               Who are they getting                messaging that has been
isolation of those people.             information from?                   coming?
Due to the fact that AIDS
was communicated badly, it             Themba                              Themba
was not appealing to people.           The media and everything.           Yes, because it is not appealing,
I still believe that the first         Listen to me, the way they          take it from me, it is not
time AIDS was introduced to            introduced it, it made people       appealing.
people it was, I don’t know,           scared.
it made people freak out. It              They were trying to sell         Les
gave a misconception about             the idea to people that AIDS        What messaging can be
HIV/AIDS, it changed their             kills, but it made them scared.     appealing to us young people
perception.                            Instead of making them              in Mhluzi? What can we hear?
   I so much believe that              conscious of it, they are more
perception determines the              scared of it, that’s the problem.   Themba
reception. That is how most            So people in Mhluzi, most of        I mean in most cases you speak
of the people receive people           them are afraid because of the      about HIV/AIDS and you give
with HIV/AIDS, in a way that           misconception they have.            it to us as a problem. I believe
isolates like that. It is because                                          the youth have been influenced
of the knowledge they have on          Les                                 by the information that they
HIV/AIDS, it is not appealing.         They freaked out from the           got from the media and
                                                                           everything so I believe that
                                                                           you need to make it appealing,
                                                                           I don’t know how.
                                                                               You could organise some
                                                                           sessions to talk about HIV/
                                                                           AIDS, organise some artists
                                                                           for a bash and make it funky,
                                                                           make it appealing for young
                                                                           people to be attracted. So
                                                                           the most vital thing that you
                                                                           should consider is to make the
                                                                           information appealing, that’s
                                                                           what we need.

                                                                           This is a lovely point but you
                                                                           keep saying “you should, you
Community dialogue advertising in Mhluzi.                                  should” – who’s “you”?

                                                                                    YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   2
                                               try to break it down        need anything?
                                               to the level of young
                                               people and speak their      Themba
                                               language.                   Media, publicity, that’s what
                                                                           we need. Currently radio, but
                                               Les                         the idea of loveLife, of radio,
                                               Whose problem is HIV?       is not well sold to people
                                                                           so we need media because
                                               Themba                      most of the young people are
                                                It’s everybody’s           fond of TV, the internet and
                                                problem, it is my          everything and I’ve never
                                                problem because            seen anything concerning
                                                even though I’m not        HIV/AIDS on the internet.
                                                infected, I’m affected        I mean I’ve got a cellphone,
                                                as well so it means        with files and games and
                                                I’m also involved          everything but there’s no
Participants in the Mhluzi dialogue.            whether I tested or I      information about HIV/AIDS.
                                                didn’t test, whether I’m
   Themba                               positive or negative, but it is    Les
   Okay, let me just generalise: us,    also my problem and it is my       So you’re saying technology
   or we, me.                           responsibility to stand up and     could have more content?
                                        fight against HIV/AIDS at the
   Les                                  same time.                         Themba
   That’s what I like to hear, I like                                      Technology, thank you very
   to hear you saying that this is      Les                                much, that’s what I was
   what I have to do as a young         How can I make a difference        looking for, technology.
   person in Mhluzi.                    at home? How can I make a
                                        difference in my home, my          Les
   Themba                               community and my life to           Did you hear what the guy
   That’s what we are doing, I          make sure that HIV/AIDS            from the municipality said?
   mean on radio, as they’ve said,      does not end up dictating the      He said the fact that he is
   there’s a loveLife programme,        life and the death of young        there means he’s showing a
   every Tuesday and Friday. We         people in my community?            commitment and that they
   do speak about such issues;                                             are committed to making sure
   we discuss issues that concern       Themba                             that they are helping youth in
   young people, especially             It’s really a nice question, I     this community to deal with
   on the side of HIV/AIDS.             must say. I believe as a young     HIV/AIDS issues, their door
   So that’s what I’m trying to         person, there’s one thing          is open.
   do, because I now see the            that I believe in. I have to be       So I’m just saying that as
   problem; it has not been             at their level for me to get       a matter of fact you must
   appealing to young people, so        their attention. As a person       always remember that the
   as a young person, I’m trying        who’s well-informed about          door is open. Go there, go to
   to make it appealing, for them       HIV/AIDS, in most cases I          the municipal office, go to
   to be keen on it.                    can speak to young people          the mayor’s office, the mayor
                                        at school about that because       of Middelburg, and say this
   Les                                  that’s where we find young         is what we need. We need to
   What else can you do to              people and that’s where these      have access to technology, we
   make it different, to make the       things are emerging from. I        need to have access to young
   messaging more receivable            don’t need 1000 people, if I can   people, we need to have
   to young people and in your          change three lives I’ve made a     access to more media.
   personal capacity, what do you       big change.                           We have a community
   think you can do?                                                       radio station, we need more
                                        Les                                facilities and stuff like that,
   Themba                               What resources do you need         maybe you can use those
   I can get information and            to make those changes, do you      platforms.

Interview with Maleke, 1

           case                    or these concerts is changed,      Maleke
           study:                  then we’ll see a change in our
                                                                      Yes, exactly, now there’s a
                                                                      loveLife saying that I like
           Mhluzi                      Say now for example,
                                   rather than them saying that
                                                                      using: “if you are not talking to
                                                                      your child, who is?” So parents
                                   these people will come here        have a huge influence on us
Maleke                             and perform, they should           because they are role models. I
We are shying away from            say that we’re going to have       grew up under their influence,
speaking about HIV/AIDS.           a talk show and we’re going        they speak to me, they are the
You see, HIV/AIDS in our           to have celebrities
community is something             or people who are
which we never talk about, it is   in the media or
taboo.                             people who are in
   I’ll make a practical           the public eye and
example. When one goes to          they are going to be
shows, say at that show they       involved in that talk
are going to address the youth     show.
or they are going to address          And the people
the community or the society       who are going to
at large and they are going to     organise those
speak about HIV/AIDS.              kinds of events
   People will go there, we will   should make sure
go there, not having an aim        that the people who
that we’re going to get more       are going to talk
information or we’re going to      or are going to be      Maleke.
get some details about HIV/        hosted at that event
AIDS, but we’re going to go        should be the youth, because it    ones who instil morals, values
there because we know that         is appealing for me if someone     and principles within me, but
some stars are coming.             of my age comes to me and          it is up to me whether I intend
                                   says that I’ve had this kind       to keep those morals, values
Les                                of experience, this and that       and principles.
What I’m hearing from you is       happened.                              However, I do believe that
that the messaging, some of           And also I believe that in      if we empower the youth, we
the vehicles that are being used   those kinds of talk shows we       should also empower parents
to grab our attention as young     should include parents because     because it doesn’t make sense
people, like for instance having   we cannot empower the youth        to empower the youth and
big concerts and stuff, they       while at the same time we          leave parents behind. They
are not working the way that       leave behind [parents], you get    should accept that these kids
they should. They are taking       what I’m saying?                   are a different generation.
attention from the messages                                               We’ve got issues affecting us,
and the attention is going to      Les                                we’ve got teenage pregnancies.
the entertainment.                 Yes, it’s difficult getting        HIV/AIDS is one of the killers
                                   through to the parents. How do     that kills the youth in South
Maleke                             you handle the issue of respect,   Africa and coming to think
Yes, however I do believe that     the level of communication         about it, if we the youth are
if the set-up of these shows       with old people?                   dying of HIV/AIDS then who

                                                                                YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   1
        will look after this country?      it is time for me to … you           HIV and AIDS doesn’t affect
                                           know there is this thing called      only the government, HIV/
        Les                                transactional sex, you know          AIDS doesn’t affect only older
        Who are going to be the            that?                                people, it doesn’t choose, it
        leaders?                               You provide me with              doesn’t matter whether you’re
                                           things, materialistic things,        young, it doesn’t matter
        Maleke                             then I sleep with you, just like     whether you’re old, you’re
        Exactly, I like that saying that   that. At that time it is simple      rich or you’re famous, you’re
        there was a time when we           because I’m enjoying the life,       poor, HIV/AIDS is HIV/AIDS.
        had to die for our freedom but     I’m living the life, I’m talking     I do think that we do not take
        right now we need people who       the life and everything is           things seriously because we
        should live for the freedom        bling-bling, it’s fine, it’s nice.   engage in high-risk sexual
        that was gained by the people      However in the long run I get        behaviour.
        who died then.                     affected.
                                                  Les                           I heard you say that you would
                                                  Infected you mean.            like to see, instead of having
                                                                                celebrities come and perform
                                                  Maleke                        for you, you would like to
                                                  Yes, infected, whoo,          see a situation where these
                                                  those words. So it affects    celebrities are coming and
                                                  me enormously and             sitting down and talking at the
                                                  it also pains me that         same level as the youth.
                                                  people, that we, are
                                                  dying because of a lack       Maleke
                                                  of knowledge.                 I’d like to see that, however I
Participants in the Mhluzi dialogue.                                            do not want them to just come
                                                 Les                            and point fingers and say “you
        Les                                Do you think there’s a general       talk, you talk”.
        Let’s live for the freedom that    attitude of not taking things           We’ve got celebrities, say
        people died for. Now tell me       seriously amongst us youth in        now they attend, even if they
        how does HIV or AIDS affect        Mhluzi? We don’t take things         aren’t celebrities, just people
        you?                               seriously, we don’t think it’s       who are in the public eye, 10 of
                                           our problem maybe?                   them, make sure that eight of
        Maleke                                                                  them are the youth and two of
        It affects me enormously           Maleke                               them are old people, because
        because I’ve got people I know     Yes, I think that it is because      we cannot empower the youth
        who are affected or infected       most of the time when we             while we leave behind adults,
        with HIV/AIDS and some             speak about HIV/AIDS, you            parents or elders.
        of them are my friends. They       hear someone saying the                 Rather than them
        ended up being infected with       government should do that,           performing, they should
        HIV/AIDS because of the            the government should do one,        speak about their experiences
        decisions that they took. You      two, three, older people should      and they shouldn’t make
        know, taking uninformed            do one, two, three, churches         up experiences, they should
        decisions and basing your          should do one, two, three,           speak about things that
        future on your past.               however we as the youth do           they’ve experienced because
           For example, [a person may]     not take responsibility for the      I do believe that if you have
        say that because I live in a       actions that we take.                experienced something
        shack and my parents do not           But if we started taking          personally you’ll make a
        provide for me the way that I      responsibility for the actions       difference in someone else’s
        want them to, I want to wear       that we are taking, then I           life because the very same
        labels, I want to wear bling-      believe that everything will         problem or the very same
        blings, and now my parents         change. And we should also           situation that you are facing,
        cannot do that for me, then        stop pointing fingers because        the next person may be

facing and with your kind of         they shouldn’t just get the         stadium full of people.
advice and with your kind of         information and keep quiet             By speaking to my friends,
experience, that person may be       and in their responding they        I’m telling them facts, but also
able to get out of that situation.   should also let others know         in my speaking I shouldn’t
                                     that this is what is happening      just speak, I should get the
Les                                  because at this very moment         necessary information, the
What do you need to make             there are many myths going          information that appeals to
your fight against HIV/AIDS          around about HIV/AIDS,              them, I should give them books
as a young person?                   right? Like for example, if         that will show them what I am
                                     you sleep with a virgin then        saying is true because statistics
Maleke                               you’ll no longer be infected        change every day. There are
Like Themba has said,                with HIV/AIDS; it is a myth.        new methods found every
publicity, because now we            However, we know that it is a       day of how a person can live
are involved in a talk show in       myth but there are still people     positively with HIV/AIDS.
Greater Middelburg FM, they          who are saying that it is a fact.
are hosting us every Monday                                              Les
and Friday.                          Les                                 They must be informed?
   I’m a loveLife debater. Yeah,     Is it still happening here in
I’ve been with the debate for        Mhluzi?                             Maleke
five years now, you can hear                                             Yes, so I must be informed
with the speaking.                   Maleke                              and have the necessary
                                     It’s still happening and the        information, which is for
Les                                  thing that, okay, after having      example booklets, then I can
All right, so you need to have       sex go and shower, then you         let them know, then it’s fine.
that publicity and maybe you         won’t have HIV/AIDS; it is             And say remember what
will use some of the resources       still happening.                    we wrote there, remember this
that have been offered to you,                                           is what we said, you know?
like the municipality?               Les                                 And every time there’s a new
                                     How can you change that as a        commitment in your mind, in
Maleke                               young person?                       your discussion, you can go to
Yes, if we do get that I believe                                         that mural, it’s yours.
that we’ll reach the youth more      Maleke                                 You write those
easily and also if we are given      As a young person I think I         commitments down as young
publicity that we deserve, the       can change that, given the          people but we are taking HIV
youth will see that HIV/AIDS         platform. However, like             into our own hands, it’s in
is not something that we             Themba has said, I do not have      our hands, let’s bring new
should shy away from, it is          to go around and organise a         opportunities in our hands.
not a death sentence. It is just
a situation which needs to be
dealt with.
    Like the youth of 1976, they
fought against apartheid,
right? Right now we are
facing a new kind of situation,
we cannot fight HIV/AIDS
physically, however there are
things that we can do to fight
it. And for us to do them, we
cannot do them alone, we need
their help and their assistance
because I believe in the saying
that no man is an island.
    So for us to reach them,
they should also respond,            Mhluzi community.

                                                                                   YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
View of Lerome.

Group discussion in Thaba Nchu.

View of Giyani.

Mural in Galeshewe.

St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Mhluzi.

Lerome, Rustenburg.

                                      YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
Interview with Mlu, 1
Les                                  as any other disease where
Ja, tell me what’s going on my
man, what’s wrong, what’s up
                                     “I’m affected with TB, I’ll take
                                     treatment and life goes on.” But
in Mhluzi?                           I’m sure you’ve heard some                     study:
                                     of the people in the dialogue,
                                     they were saying HIV kills.                    Mhluzi
I think one of the problems that     You heard the DJ, Solly, saying
we are faced with concerning         HIV kills, abstain, be faithful,
the youth is ignorance. I            condomise or you will die. We      have AIDS, it’s a disgrace. I
think we need to realise that        have people living with HIV/       don’t want you as a friend,
today’s youth, they don’t care       AIDS who are healthy, who are      I don’t want you near me.
anymore about life, what they        happy with their lives. Don’t      That’s why, when you asked
care about is the short-term         take HIV/AIDS as a killer but      the question, “can a mosquito
time. I have friends, they say I     take it as a friend.               infect you?” some people
must drink liquor, let me drink                                         were saying yes, some were
liquor. We don’t think about         Les                                saying no. What I’m saying is
the consequences, what that          So it’s also a perception in how   that we have the information,
might bring tomorrow.                do we address issues when          the media is there, we have
   Why are we ignoring HIV/          we talk to each other as peers?    television, we have radio, these
AIDS? Themba mentioned the           We must not try to kill each       guys are doing a talk show but
fact it might be how it was          other when we talk, we must        the youth are the ones lacking.
introduced. The first time I         build each other when we talk;        They don’t listen to that talk
knew AIDS it was because of          constructive conversations.        show, why, because they say
Nkosi Johnson. Nkosi Johnson                                            it’s boring. I know what I’m
was about to die or was thin,        Mlu                                doing and what I’m doing now
that image is still in my mind       And another thing is that HIV,     is I must booze, I must go to
that, okay, when I have AIDS         it’s a stigma. Nowadays, you       bashes, but they don’t think
obviously I’m going to lose
weight, all that pain and
everything. So how it was
introduced, it was introduced
as this disease, as a killer, as a
murderer, if I have HIV/AIDS,
I’m already dead. It would
be better if I kill myself. It
was introduced as a killer,
not as TB.

How do we change this
now and create a different
perspective now that we know
that it’s not a killer?

First thing: HIV was
introduced as a killer but not       Interview with Mlu, Mhluzi.

Participants in the Mhluzi dialogue.

of the consequences that will          who went and donated their          everyone who passes here is
follow. That’s why I mentioned         services and their money after      going to see that this is what
a fact that I may booze, I may         the tsunami and people were         I committed myself to, you
do everything but is what I’m          able to bring their lives back in   know? And then your duty is
doing what I planned or what           order.                              going to be made easier, that
I wanted in my life or is it               Wherever there’s a negative,    when you go around talking
contributing to what I want to         there’s always a positive, but      to people, you can always
be in future? That’s what we           it is how that message is sent      refer them back to that mural.
should ask ourselves.                  out. You guys have made now
   HIV/AIDS is a big problem           a commitment to say that
in South Africa but people are         because you are aware you                    HANDY
ignoring it. They know that            can go out and make sure that                FACTS
HIV, it’s there but they are           the message is calmed down a                  Mosquitoes
ignoring it.                           little bit.                          cannot transmit HIV or
                                           That you can talk to people      AIDS. Mosquitoes do not
Les                                    and say don’t scare me man,          inject the blood of other
But it’s easy to ignore                don’t freak me out because
                                                                            people they have bitten
something that is being                one person out of seven
                                                                            into new people they bite.
labelled a killer and something        people is infected, 2500 people
that is very difficult to deal         every day are getting new
                                                                            Mosquitoes can, however,
with. I’d rather not imagine           infections with HIV/AIDS.            spread other serious
what a tsunami’s done to Asia,         Don’t come and freak me out,         diseases such as malaria
you know? I’d rather ignore            talk to me like someone, let’s       and yellow fever. Humans
thinking about it because I            discuss it, let’s find solutions,    cannot catch HIV/AIDS
see what the tsunami does              like we’re doing now, right?         from any insects or animals
but at the same time if I read             You guys are making these        such as monkeys, spiders or
more articles that I find about        commitments, we take these           snakes. Only humans can
the tsunami, I would find              commitments, we put them             carry the virus.
that there were good people            down on the mural over there,        Source: JournAIDS

                                                                                    YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
Voices From The Community

            case                   debates, sports and recreation   because later they are under
            study:                 and has a life orientation
                                                                    peer pressure.
                                                                       Near the mines, young girls
            Mhluzi                 Department of Health
                                                                    wait in the veld to prostitute
                                                                    themselves. She said this is
                                   Margaret Skosana, who works      because they don’t have jobs or
Social Worker                      in the municipal Department      food. They sometimes do it “on
Phindile Mahungela is a            of Health, attended the          account”, presenting clients
loveLife volunteer who is          dialogue because “it’s our       with a bill at the end of the
close to the end of a year-long    children – we are listening to   month. The men say that the
contract with the organisation.    them.”                           money they spend on this sex
She said she had learnt a lot         She said the department’s     is not from their salaries but
about “how to take care of         HIV/AIDS message                 extra income from gambling or
yourself” but it had been a        emphasised abstinence and        giving people lifts.
challenge.                         morality more than condom           She said the local clinics
   Some of the six high schools    use. “We are trying to           offer incentives such as gifts
in the area don’t allow loveLife   discourage them from being       of cooler boxes to encourage
to come and work with the          involved in sex.”                young people to come for
learners and some parents             It’s important to make sure   counselling and testing. They
don’t want their children to       children have information        offer condoms, STI treatment
go to the loveLife centre. The     about HIV/AIDS when they         and information, and prepare
organisation offers drama,         are very young, she said,        patients for ARVs if their CD4
Youth in the Mhluzi community.

count is below 200.
   There are also drop-in
centres where children can
get food for the day. Clinics
have lay counsellors and
can offer supplementary
feeding when mothers don’t
want to breastfeed. The
Health Department also
helps establish food gardens,
with starter packs from the
Agriculture Department.
   She said patients sometimes
remove any reference to the        St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Mhluzi.
word “positive” from their
clinic cards or health records,    is motivation; it is the way to          In prison “we talk about it.
even if the word refers to         show us how to set our minds          We won’t be in there for our
something other than HIV.          to specific goals and to be edu-      whole lives, we will go out.
(This seems to refer to the        wise.                                 When I come out, I do commit
stigma of HIV.)                        “The youth today don’t give       myself to preaching about
                                   thought to these things,” he          HIV/AIDS.”
Participants                       added.                                   Chairperson of the ANC
Ida Xulu, an elder in the area,        Given, 16, expected               Youth League in Mhluzi Ward
came to see the dialogue           guidance from the dialogue.           4, Ditshego Seloane, says: “We
despite the fact that it was       “We’ll be getting guidance            are not being recognised like
aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds.       from experienced people who           other townships. We’ve been
“I called the radio to enquire     have gone past the adolescence        going around the municipality
why was the session only for       stage and we want them to             to tell them this is what we can
the youth. What about the          teach us to be like them.”            do to develop ourselves but
parents?” said Xulu. “I’m              Marcus Masemola, 25,              we get empty promises. 46664
representing the Mhluzi            from the Youth Advisory               must come back to develop
parents,” said Xulu.               Centre and Steve Tshwete              us, we want to be a youth of
   Lindokuhle, 15, works at        Municipality, said: “This             winners in Mhluzi.”
the loveLife centre in Mhluzi,     event is to let young people             Daphney Mngomezulu,
situated at the St Peter’s         talk about HIV/AIDS, share            a teacher who voiced her
Church. “Here in Mhluzi,           their views and opinions and          concerns at the event, agreed.
teenage boys smoke and drink       their commitment to fighting          “They are defeated because
a lot and teenage pregnancy        HIV/AIDS. For example, if             there are no follow-ups on
is rife,” she said. “We’re going   young people of before could          activities that have been
to talk about girls and how to     fight apartheid, today’s young        started and there’s no monitor
prevent pregnancies and about      people should be able to fight        to see if their projects are
unsafe abortions … I’ll talk       HIV/AIDS.”                            sustainable, there are no
on pregnancy issues and for            “The youth are the future         ongoing structures.”
them to stop having abortions      leaders of our country, I mean,          Masemola said he was
without their parents’             if they are dead, what are we         grateful for the event. “It’s
knowledge.”                        going to do?”                         very rare to see black young
   Shadrack, 15, said he               After the event, Sandra,          people discuss sexual issues;
expected to get “education and     24, a prisoner, said she felt         it’s good that it’s from within
knowledge” from the dialogue.      proud to express her feelings         South Africa, the youth saying
“I want to learn and know how      about HIV/AIDS. “We need              that.”
professionals work and to get      to continue preaching the                “What’s important was to
motivation and get guidance        message, until people hear            get their views and get them
on how to reach our goals,”        it. HIV/AIDS is not going             talking and participating and I
he said. “What’s important         down.”                                think our objectives were met.”

                                                                                  YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
   Case Study
  The following section is a Case Study on the dialogue that was held in
  Soshanguve, Gauteng.

Soshanguve Youth Talk
‘Togetherness – Ke ntho enice’

                                  Metropolitan Municipality, and some of you parents can’t talk
                                  was the scene of riots related     to us.”
                                  to poor service delivery in           There was immediately
                                  January 2006.                      a condom demonstration
            case                     The youth of Soshanguve
                                  highlighted the problems and
                                                                     by a participant from the
                                                                     community to see if people
            study:                challenges that they face in
                                  their community regarding
                                                                     really did not know how to use
                                  HIV/AIDS.                             One of the participants went
                                     The day started with a play     as far as highlighting that

                                  from Lentswe Theatre and           people didn’t know how a
   he 46664 Youth                 Heritage Organisation. Hecate,     person can get HIV.
   Community Dia-                 a drama group, followed               “We were on the door-
   logue Programme                with Khululeka, which they         to-door campaign and the
moves to Soshanguve.              performed at all the was events. problem we encountered
                                     Lebogang Ramafoko, senior       with the youth was that they
The last dialogue in the          executive at Soul City, was        still don’t know how HIV is
Youth Community Dialogue          the facilitator for the day.       contracted,” said Susan, one of
Programme was held in a small     She made sure that people          the participants.
Pretoria township, Soshanguve,    engaged in discussion about
on November 30, 2007.             the problems they face around      Commitments:
   The dialogue’s objective was   HIV/AIDS and that they gave        Tshepiso said, “I would like
to encourage young people to      solutions to these problems.       to open my own youth group
participate, own the process,        The Soshanguve youth are        and I would educate each
and engage each other in          facing varying challenges,         and every girl that you’re
discourse aimed at preventing     among them stigma, lack of         not beautiful because of your
HIV infection as well as          knowledge, myths and many          beautiful thighs, you’re not
addressing related social         others relating to HIV/AIDS.       yourself by wearing short
issues.                              Shermaine, an HIV/
   Soshanguve is a township       AIDS campaigner,
situated about 45km north         said that “people are
of Pretoria, Gauteng, South       condomising but they
Africa. It was established in     don’t know how to use a
1974 on land scheduled to be      condom, that’s a problem
incorporated into a bantustan     that we’re facing.”
bordering on Mabopane in             Bathabile said, “As
Bophuthatswana. Sotho,            young as I am, I like
Shangaan, Nguni and Venda         watching programmes
people (hence the name) were      (educational TV) because
resettled from Atteridgeville     my mom cannot talk to me
and Mamelodi. It later became     about such things, she’s
part of the City of Tshwane       still afraid and it’s true,    Soshanguve dialogue session.

A view of Soshanguve.

skirts, showing your cleavage,       and then again in churches          AIDS and what it does to a
dating older guys, dating taxi       because some of the churches        person when you’ve got it and
drivers and everything. You          don’t talk much about it. I can     how you can live with it. The
are yourself because of you,         commit to start telling some        other thing is that what you
your confidence, the way you         of the youth in churches and        can do also to avoid it and stop
are, the way God made you.           other youth in the community        it from infecting the youth.
   “I am fully aware of the          about what’s happening. This        We were taught how to live,
things that are happening to         is reality, this is what we’re      and what you need to apply in
our youth of today and mostly        facing and the solutions to say     your life.”
it’s the youth that dies. Because    what can we do, that’s what I          Gontse – “I saw that we are
of my friends (I am at a stage       can commit.”                        in the 16 Days of Activism
where I am informed) I teach                                             and we mustn’t just end here,
them and they never listen,”         Reflections:                        maybe they can call us to
added Tshepiso.                      Tshepiso – “I think you should      perform somewhere else. We
   Tlhologelo’s commitment           do this every year to show          develop groups and go around
was to the ABC message.              the youth that when you fall        the community, even in crèches,
“What I want to commit to            pregnant or when you’re HIV         and perform there for free.
is those three letters of the        positive, it shouldn’t be the          “We won’t just stop here in
alphabet, A, to abstain, B to be     end of the world.”                  our community of Soshanguve,
faithful and C, to condomise.           Wendy – “For me this             as soon as we’ve performed
Definitely when I go around I        event was a good one                like this, wherever we get
will tell my friends that there      especially for the community        money, we will try to go out
are only three letters you can       of Soshanguve, even if they         and go to other provinces to be
use in life that you can stick to,   didn’t come in large numbers.       able to provide the message we
which is ABC, that’s the best        Next time if you campaign in        do with our productions about
message, that’s in my heart. In      time, and start on time and         HIV/AIDS and other issues.”
fact anyone that I meet, young       change the time to a much              Lebogang – “It’s not like
or old, those are the words that     earlier time, especially for us     we’re going to just end it in
I can say.”                          Correctional Services to be         one place. We’re going to
   He added, “I will like to         able to bring inmates.”             spread the word and through
be very much involved in                Tlhologelo – “The message        our actions, we are going to
community projects that              that I got today that’s nice, the   try and show that HIV/AIDS
basically are about AIDS             way they explained it about         is not right.”

                                                                                  YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   1
Key Issues Raised
Lack of Knowledge                      Zachariah                                     case
                                       I have two questions. The
                                       first is, do we have ladies’
Tebogo                                 condoms? If yes, why are you                  Soshanguve
I’m an offender in Pretoria            always making examples with
Female Prison. People think            men’s condoms only?
when someone is HIV or                                                   a person says let me not
AIDS-infected they can see             Susan                             wear a condom and I won’t
them coughing or being skinny          We were on the door-to-door       ejaculate inside a woman.
or having sores all over their         campaign and the problem we       I think that’s the cause of
body, which is wrong.                  encountered with the youth        the spread of HIV. A person
   You cannot determine that           was that they still don’t know    thinks that ejaculating causes
somebody is HIV-infected by            how HIV is contracted and         the contracting of AIDS, that’s
merely looking them in the             they take it as a joke and some   why it’s spreading.
eye or looking at the physical         of them say there’s no HIV
features. You need to make             until they have it.               Beauty
sure that person has been                                                I have a suggestion for the
tested, before you can make            Koketso                           government. Would it be
sure that person is HIV-               I want to ask, if as you’re       possible to stop distributing
positive.                              saying, condoms are the           men’s condoms and distribute
                                       solution? Why since there         female condoms instead?
Shermaine                              have been condoms until now,      Because most men don’t want
I’m from Pretoria Female               is AIDS not decreasing but        to use condoms and now they
Prison. We have also been              increasing?                       are infecting us women and we
doing door-to-door campaigns                                             women want to use condoms
and as we were talking about           Betty                             and they pressure us. At least
ABC, we found that people              There’s this issue that           government should make
don’t know how to use a                people don’t know how             sure there are more female
condom.                                AIDS is contracted because        condoms and men’s condoms
                                                                         are decreased.

                                                                         I think that another way to
                                                                         make sure we have more
                                                                         knowledge is to have more
                                                                         advice centres. Our areas have
                                                                         been demarcated by wards;
                                                                         if every ward had an advice
                                                                         centre it would be easy to look
                                                                         for information on AIDS.
                                                                            It would be easier than
                                                                         having the government
                                                                         spending a lot of money on
                                                                         festivals.When top artists have
                                                                         been booked they don’t come
                                                                         for free, they want money. Take
Participants in the Soshanguve dialogue.                                 that money and invest it in

Youth in Soshanguve, Gauteng.

education so that we can have        literacy practitioners, people    times a day, that person turns
more knowledge.                      who’ll stay in our clinics and    it to two times a day. If you
  The other thing, we                hospitals. Another challenge      know that you take treatment,
must watch out for public            is our nurses, our doctors,       travel with your pills. And
representatives or public            they don’t know about             there’s this thing that people
servants: do they have               antiretroviral treatment.         with HIV say that they get
information? If you go to a                                            money and when their CD4
hospital, it’s not all nurses that   Khosi                             count rises they stop giving
are knowledgeable on HIV             My job is to do door-to-door,     you the money so they don’t
and AIDS.                            in other words we go around       take treatment correctly and
                                     checking patients that have       the money keeps coming.
Denial                               HIV/AIDS and TB patients.
                                     They say they don’t get good      Gloria
Bhekisisa                            treatment from clinics. When      I’ve worked in this community
The other thing is that people,      they get to clinics and the       as a nurse, I did HIV/AIDS
let’s stop being in denial           nurses see their files and they   campaigns in this very
because HIV/AIDS is there            are HIV-positive, they shout at   community around 1988,
and it’s killing. The other thing    them and tell them that they      1990, 1991. I think some of
is that let’s not take this thing    didn’t send them to go and get    the care workers know me.
as a joke, because for 46664 to      these diseases they have. You     I want to comment because
be here, it’s because they saw       find that when they leave they    this is coming up as I’ve been
the role HIV/AIDS is playing         don’t give them treatment.        listening, the training on
in South Africa, so this issue is                                      information on HIV/AIDS
very serious.                        Veronica                          for medical people. The
                                     It’s not that doctors don’t       biggest challenge, I think, in
Lack of Training                     know, there’s no doctor who       the department of health is to
                                     can give someone the wrong        speed up training that is going
Bhekisisa                            treatment. People do their own    on in terms of using ARV
We need training for treatment       things, when they say three       drugs and updates in terms of

                                                                                YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
Participants in the Soshanguve dialogue.

HIV/AIDS because there are             each other but if you tell        Sugar Daddies/ Money
so many changes happening.             yourself that you will have
                                       self-esteem and that in life      Marvelous
Experimenting /                        this is what you want to be       There’s this thing with youth,
Carelessness by Youth                  and that myself as a man, I       as in, it’s all about money.
                                       want to be a good father to       Like as youth you have to be
Veronica                               my children, they must grow       funky, you have to be vibey,
I won’t tell you to stop having        up and not get infected with      and stuff like that, so people
sex, if you are at the stage,          HIV and things like that. I       now they engage in sex so
you’re there, you can’t run            want to tell the youth here       that they can get something
away from it but it’s up to            that you must trust yourself      out of it if they are black
you what you tell yourself,            and have an unbreakable           sisters, that is. It may be that
what you want in life. If you          self-esteem. If you see that      people are poor, so they have
want to die, kill yourself and         your temptations are growing,     to resort to those things so
we’ll bury you, but if you tell        please condomise.                 that they can get what they
yourself that HIV exists and                                             do not get at home.
you are going to overcome it,          Stigma
you’ll get over it.
                                       Shermaine                                  HANDY FACTS
Ephraim                                When a person is HIV-positive,             A 2005 HSRC
I’m from Baviaanspoort                 people shun them, they keep                study found that
Prison. The youth of today             away from them, because            73% of boys aged 15-24
no longer have that African            you think that now he’s HIV-       and 56% of girls in the
spirituality to be able to             positive, if they see me around    same age group reported
abstain until you get married.         that person, they’ll also think
                                                                          using a condom during
I was incarcerated in 2003 but         that I’m positive. South Africa
                                                                          their most recent sexual
I haven’t even masturbated             is affected with the disease
or slept with another guy. I           so let’s work together. We all     encounter.
know these things happen               know that one hand helps the       Source: Department of
in jail where guys sodomise            other, right?                      Health

                                   Parents’ Involvement
Tshepiso                                                                 I beg you, please, it hurts
I would like to say to girls who                                      out there, help your mothers,
are at the age of 14 to 21, we     Bathabile                          tell them the truth.
should respect ourselves and       My plea is to our parents. As         If you’re young, ask your
not date guys who are older        young as I am, I like watching     mother, it’s not about parents
than us, sugar daddies or          programmes because my              taking responsibility for
whoever. He’ll take you to five-   mom cannot talk to me about        everyone, you must also ask
star hotels for a weekend and      such things, she’s still afraid.   her, face your mother and
you’ll be a weekend special        It’s still something that scares   say “Here’s some tea mom,”
and then on that same Sunday,      parents to talk to us.             and say, “Mom there’s
you come back home, back to           I would like to plead           something I want to ask but
square one, you’ll sleep in the    with you to talk to us. Yes,       I don’t know where to start”
same bed, a twin bed, eat the      sometimes we don’t listen and      and then ask her. Then she’ll
same meal, which is maotwana       then you give up on us but as      be open to you.
(chicken feet) and morogo          long as you try, there will be a
(spinach).                         point in time where we’ll see      Susan
                                   that we have to listen to you.     As parents, I think we have
Veronica                           You’re our parents, what else      a big responsibility to talk
You grew up at your home           can we do?                         to our children so that they
without couches but why do                                            know that HIV exists, because
you want to sell your body         Veronica                           we parents are scared to
today to get couches? Don’t        I started campaigning from         talk to our children because
wish for things outside.           2001, door to door, every year.    we also don’t use condoms
Where you grew up sitting          You’re killing your mothers,       because we think we have
on a bench, be like that. Stop     you’re not telling them the        steady boyfriends and we are
envying, go to school, if you go   truth, she bathes you and you      married. Such things make us
to school you won’t envy.          keep saying, “No mom it’s TB.”     scared to talk to our children.
The community of Soshanguve.

                                                                               YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
Group Interviews
                                        and AIDS scourge.                  township] where they belong.
              case                         I’m not going to use that          Because you get exhibitions

              study:                    word anymore, all right? Make
                                        it short, I don’t want a long
                                                                           in town and yet the artists are
                                                                           from the townships, but here
              Soshanguve                story, even if you have one        in the townships there are not
                                        problem that you’ve identified,    exhibitions happening and
                                        it’s going to go a long way.       then we think that the arts are
                                        In your community is there         for white people.
Les                                     anything that you are involved
I’ve gone around the country,           with?                              Les
I’ve interviewed young people                                              So you’re saying that our
between the ages of 16 and 24           Pulane, 21                         fight against HIV should
about social issues they are            I’m organising poetry sessions     be approached in the same
having around HIV/AIDS in               to keep young people away          way that youth in 1976 were
their communities.                      from the streets and because       approaching the struggle
   Let’s not talk about AIDS            poetry is a form of expression,    against apartheid?
in the context of South Africa;         so they can express their
what’s happening here? Tell             problems through poetry.           Pulane
me what you’ve identified as               During apartheid, the youth     Kind of. I mean we’re going to
problems, tell me what you              had one challenge and they         bore people if we’re going to
think the solutions are and tell        managed to face it and win. So     sit here and say “Do not have
me what your commitment is              basically I’m all about bringing   sex, do not do that.” We can
in terms of fighting the HIV            the arts back to kasi [the         do it through poetry. I mean
Lesley in a group interview with Pulane in Soshanguve.

someone will listen.                 Stars, can’t wear this and can’t       national day it is. I will send
   If we’re going to sit and         wear that.                             the message across and I do
talk about “HIV is this, HIV           And then, when someone               motivational speaking, in
is that,” they’re not going to       says have a smoke, they are            every programme, in every
listen, they are just going to       going to smoke because they            event, there’s motivational
walk in and out.                     have no confidence, they               speaking. So that’s what we
   But if we do it through           don’t see themselves as worth          need, we need motivation.
dance, poetry and such things,       more than that. If we tackle
they’re going to stay and listen     the mind and show them that            Les
and the message is going to          they are worth it, we are done         What is your community
come across.                         with them.                             involvement?
   The problem that I have
identified is that poverty is the
basis of everything. People are
not confident, confidence is
what we lack and that’s why
people can date a grown man
and sleep with them without a
condom and then contract the
disease. That’s our problem,
lack of confidence.

So what you’re saying is
poverty is the main thing
and as a result of poverty
young people don’t have
the confidence to look into
                                     Zachariah in the Soshanguve group interview.

Pulane                                  At a young age, at 11, start.       Zachariah, 20
Exactly, and now what                That child must know “I can            I’m involved in a lot of ways;
happens is that, I’m thinking        always say I don’t want to             sports; I teach chess and coach
that the solution is to start        talk to you.” She must be              netball and that way I keep
them from a young age, target        confident like that. When we           them from the streets.
them and teach them about            are finished with girls, then             A challenge that we get is
confidence, especially.              it’s easy. Guys know that              that they play and they play
   We must start with the            when they go to the girls they         and then there are no groups
girls because they are               will get this response and then        to play against so these people
more vulnerable, because             we start with the guys.                get bored.
they become pregnant and                                                       If I see kids playing
biologically we contract HIV         Les                                    something, I make sure that I
faster than men, it’s just a fact.   What is your personal                  encourage them. Sometimes
   If we can have a programme        commitment from here on,               I try to find sponsors for
at school that deals with            in terms of what you’ve                them, which is very hard to
confidence and teach these           identified?                            do. We lack funds here in
kids to be proud even if they                                               Soshanguve.
have nothing. The thing is for       Pulane
confidence to be lost, a child       In my poetry sessions that             Les
grows up not being able to get       I organise around here in              They lack encouragement,
All Stars [shoes] or whatever,       the township, I identify the           facilities and direction, so they
now that child automatically         national days, like Heritage           find that when they are bored
looks down on themselves             Day and all that and I theme           during holidays, they have
because they can’t wear All          it in the style of whatever            sex?

                                                                                      YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
   Performance at the Soshanguve dialogue.

   Zachariah                             Les                               Les
   Ja.                                   Where do they indulge in          So once they are taking alcohol
                                         alcohol, what kind of places?     and drugs, you know, these
   Les                                                                     substances, then they are not
   How old are these kids we’re          Zachariah                         in control of their behaviour.
   talking about?                        Most of the time you find them    Then they are at risk of getting
                                         in passages drinking at night     infected.
   Zachariah                             and they do like drugs and           Because we’re talking about
   Some are between 16 and 17            things that are bad.              how young people get infected
   and then there are some in my                                           easily. What is the solution to
   age group. I talk to them and         Les                               this thing?
   as we speak most of them are          Drugs, what kind of drugs?
   drinking alcohol, so it’s like                                          Zachariah
   something normal.                     Zachariah                         If maybe the government
                                         Nyaope.                           would try to communicate
         HANDY                           Les
                                                                           with the people, I know that
                                                                           it’s all over the television,
         FACT                            Nyaope, what’s nyaope?            but it’s not enough. If they
         CHILD CARE GRANT                                                  would bring people to talk to
The child support grant of R200          Pulane                            the youth regularly, to have
a month is payable to a primary          You don’t know nyaope? It’s the   involvement between us and
care giver in respect of a child         drug.                             the government.
aged 0-14 years. Eligibility             Les                               Les
depends mainly on parental
                                         What is it?                       Why do we always have to be
household income, which should                                             looking at government? What
be less than R1 100 a month.             Pulane                            is it that you as young people
Source: Department of Social             It’s a powder, it’s a pill.       are doing in the meantime?
The number of beneficiaries              Les                               Zachariah
of child support grants was              Mandrax?                          In the meantime, it is very
projected to be 7 879 558 in                                               difficult for people like us to
2007. Source: National Treasury,         Pulane                            go out there, especially in my
Budget Review 2007                       Yes, it’s Mandrax, it’s so big.   community, because most

of the people in the area are          more than it has? What are you     Challenges?
involved in dating. I talk to          going to do from now on?
them and as we speak most of                                              Veronica
them are drinking alcohol, so          Zachariah                          The first challenge is the fact
it’s like something normal.            I can try to talk to people that   that people know what’s
                                       I meet. I make sure that I tell    going on but the minute you
Les                                    him or her about how bad           come and start talking about
They tell you that they won’t          HIV/AIDS is. Every time you        HIV, people pretend that they
listen to you.                         meet someone, before you leave     don’t know anything and then
   So it’s difficult to face a         them, make sure that you just      make you a fool. They will ask
person and tell them that              say “Do you know?” Just give       you about the myths. When
whatever they are doing is             him advice on how HIV kills.       you go to some of the people’s
wrong and they will talk to                                               houses, they will tell you that
you the way they want to as            Les                                you’re infecting their house
we have freedom of speech              And you’re going to focus on       with AIDS.
and it’s their right, that’s the       people that are younger than         Women are mostly infected
way we live.                           you because they are easier to     with HIV because they are
   I usually tell the kids I           handle?                            taking care of their kids and
coach that you choose for                                                 their kids are not telling them
yourself whether you live a            Zachariah                          the truth about what’s wrong
good life or live an abnormal          I’m going to focus on              with them, they tell them they
life, and by doing that you            everybody that I talk to. When     have TB.
have to ask yourself: how              I talk to somebody I’ll make
do you benefit from whatever           sure that I must talk about        Les
you’re doing? And if it doesn’t        HIV/AIDS because if we’re          You are saying the women are
benefit you, just leave it and         not going to talk about it, it’s   HIV-positive?
do something that will                 something that will increase.
benefit you.                           We just ignore it, we don’t talk   Veronica
                                       about it but if we can talk more   Yes, because most of them have
Les                                    about it then it will stop.        been infected by their children,
What is your personal                                                     because they take care of
commitment now to make sure            Les                                them, bathe them, and the kid
the HIV doesn’t spread any             Tell me about you, your            is not telling them the truth
                                               background, what           about what they really have.
                                               would you like to tell     The challenge we get is that
                                               me about?                  most of the young people like
                                                                          experimenting with things that
                                              Veronica                    they don’t know, especially
                                              Right now we are            when it comes to sex.
                                              doing a door-to-door
                                              campaign for World          Les
                                              AIDS Day, I’m a             You said experimenting, how
                                              volunteer from the          do they experiment?
                                              Institute of Primary
                                              Health (IPH). I work        Veronica
                                              for Luvuyo, it’s an         When a friend tells them “Hey
                                              orphanage, and IPH is       my friend, sex is good” and
                                              an organisation.            another one comes and they
                                                                          have a baby and say “Hey my
                                              Les                         friend, getting a child support
                                              What are the things         grant is nice, I get paid every
                                              that you see that           month and I’m still a student”
                                              put people in your          and so the girl would want to
Veronica in the Soshanguve group interview.   community at risk?          also get the R200.

                                                                                   YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
Les                                and you have weak
So it’s like R200 for HIV? What    points and don’t
is the solution to that problem?   know where you’re
                                   going, but if you
Veronica                           know your goal,
The solution is all about          you won’t have any
communication and what you         problem. Even if a
want in life. You must have a      person comes to you
dream and tell yourself that       and says let’s go
when you have five dreams, at      there, there’s a party,
least you must achieve three of    if you don’t want to
them.                              go, don’t go.

Les                                Les
And then another solution?         So they won’t get
                                   peer pressure if they
Veronica                           know their dreams?
Another solution?
Les                                Yes.
Let’s talk about the problem
that young people don’t            Les
disclose to their parents and      And then your
they put their parents at risk.    solution or personal
                                                             Youth facilitator next to a poster advertising the
You found that the mothers         commitment?               event in Soshanguve.
get infected from looking
after their children, giving       Veronica                                           HANDY FACT
palliative care to children that   The issue of poverty, a lot                       DRUG USE
are infected. How can you sort     of people complain about                          “Young South Africans
that out?                          poverty. We grew up with                are keenly aware of HIV/AIDS
                                   poverty around a lot of                 as a problem facing their
Veronica                           houses and I don’t see why,             generation. Six in ten (61%)
It’s all about communication       when you eat dry bread you              name the disease as the most
and you must be free with          must complain. It’s not about
                                                                           important issue or problem
your children and talk to them     poverty, it’s just that there
                                                                           facing people their age in
about sex and they must also       are people that don’t have
be free to ask and not say         anything and there those who
                                                                           South Africa.
“My mom is older, when I ask       do it intentionally.                    This is about twice as many
her she’ll beat me up,” you           A person knows that at               as the second and third
understand? So they must talk      home we’ve never had sofas              most frequently mentioned
and ask their mother what’s        but they want to get sofas in a         responses (drug and alcohol
going on.                          wrong way. Get them properly,           abuse – 31%, and teen
                                   go to school and then you can           pregnancy – 30%). Lower on
Les                                get that sofa. Point at it and          the list of problems are crime
What about the young people        say “You know what, I have              (20%) and unemployment
who are experimenting and          a certificate for that sofa.” But       (19%), followed by poverty
trading their lives for child      don’t say “I have a certificate         (10%), poor quality education
support grants, how can you        for that man.”                          (6%), and peer pressure (5%).”
sort that out?                                                             Source: Young South Africans,
                                   Les                                     Broadcast Media, and HIV/
Veronica                           You, Veronica, what do you              AIDS Awareness, Kaiser Family
There’s no-one who doesn’t         plan to do to make sure that
                                                                           Foundation and South African
know about HIV/AIDS. It’s          AIDS doesn’t spread in your
                                                                           Broadcasting Corporation,
just that listening to friends     community?

Veronica                           what kind of people I’m talking     that don’t look to someone else
I’ll talk and talk. Every year     about. Kids in high school          who comes from outside, look
I campaign for World AIDS          admire them, it’s like a child      to yourself.
                                   admiring their teacher more
Day, just because I know that      than their mother, that’s how       Pulane
every year there’s a change        it works, end of story. Now         We have to start there and then
that they make. From 2001, I’ve    because we want the problem         we’ll move forward.
been campaigning for HIV/          to end we need to use that way.
AIDS and every year getting                                            Veronica
different information from         Veronica                            I don’t want that always when
people.                            Most of the time I like to          there’s a talk on HIV/AIDS
                                         tell people that it’s         they must expect celebrities.
                                         not about a celebrity,        You are damaging that
                                         someone on TV.                person’s mind. I want that
                                                                       always we must try and do
                                          Pulane                       things ourselves and stand on
                                          Yes but they don’t get it.   our own without these people.

                                          Veronica                     Pulane
                                          Let me tell you about        We will be involved.
                                          me, there are people
                                          that like calling me         Les
                                          or coming to me,             Yes, be involved in your
                                          especially children.         own community, use these
                                          Right now there’s a girl     celebrities for your own
Veronica in the group interview.
                                          who got lobola paid out      initiatives, don’t wait for
                                          to her family, she called    someone else. That’s a good
                                          me and said, you know        solution. You’re right, don’t
Les                                what, you’re my role model,         wait for someone from outside
Would you like to have             the way you live and the way        to come and say come and
platforms where you can carry      you do things. That’s why           then you talk.
out these exercises for much       when you live as a person,
longer?                            you must know yourself,                      HANDY FACT
                                   where you’re from and where                      “Home Based Care (HBC)
Veronica                           you’re going.                                    is the provision of basic
Yes, especially when it comes                                           nursing care needs by formal or
to people like you, so that        Les                                  informal caregivers to people
people can hear our problems.      It sounds to me like you’re
                                                                        in their own homes. This service
                                   saying that we all have the
Pulane                             answers in our reach, maybe
                                                                        is available to people who have
                                                                        mental, physical, emotional and
Can we have influential            we should use that as an
people coming because you          advantage, let’s not look to         social needs.
know what, a celebrity can         other people to come and be          There may be situations where you
make someone change. We            celebrities or to push.              need to clean up body fluids or
need influential people like          Pulane, you have a good           blood from someone infected with
Lebo.                              point. Young people are              HIV. It is important to use rubber
                                   fashionable, and they want to        or plastic gloves or other barriers
Veronica                           see celebrities come through         such as plastic bags or thick cloth
But then still you are a           before they can come through.        to prevent direct contact. Make
celebrity, are you still a         But if you can do that, get          sure that you have easily available
celebrity?                         those young people in and get        at all times.” Source: Department
                                   those celebrities, what we have      of Health brochure: Caring for
Pulane                             to start saying now is that let’s    People with HIV/AIDS
Yes, but you must understand       start pushing the mentality

                                                                                YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   1
The Role of Media in
Social Mobilisation
Heather Farquarson
Krisen Pather
        aking change or             no media equity. Globalisation        The famous Italian film-
        transformation              may well have extended the        maker Bernardo Bertolucci
        possible often              reach of media channels,          once alluded to the problem
means interrogating a               media formats and message         with revolutionary films:
                                    competition, but we still         they never quite get to the
sense that “we live in a
                                    live in an era in which           audiences that they were
global media culture”.              the development of many           intended for but they do get
                                    communities is hamstrung by       to film festivals. His comment
   It is this generalisation        limited access to appropriate     raises issues related to
which drives inappropriate          media.                            distribution, content, as well
strategies and solutions, which        It is in these “media poor”    as the sense that not enough
in turn lead to organisations       communities that limited          is being done to reach out to
using only mass-market              media distribution, coupled       those who need information
communication models to             with poor socio-economic          the most.
achieve complex behaviour           conditions, creates a dire need       A cursory glance at our
change results. The outcomes        for strategic communication       African media landscape will
are often disappointing.            models. Traditional forms of      on occasion reveal that mass
   The solution lies in             communication rarely achieve      media campaigns do not make
understanding that we have          the impacts desired.              it to “at-risk” communities in

A member of the Lerome community.

                                                                         of community and appropriate
                                                                         communication resources
                                                                         (select community radio
                                                                         stations in the areas of the
                                                                         dialogue, community print,
                                                                         murals, posters) contributed
                                                                         to amplifying and extending
                                                                         the reach of the programme.
                                                                         Social mobilisation contributed
                                                                         to giving the campaign a
                                                                         physical presence in different
                                                                         communities and within
                                                                         different constituencies.
                                                                         Through adopting local
                                                                         community spokespeople at
                                                                         the dialogue sessions it further
                                                                         contributed to creating a cadre
Kimberley Community Hall, Galeshewe.                                     of enthusiastic carriers of some
                                                                         of the messages arrived at as
far-flung areas as intended.           able to reach people in areas     part of the dialogue process.
   When the media does                 where mass media seldom              Stigma, discrimination and
make it through there are              goes: communities with no         access to information and
sometimes complex social               running water, halls without      support pose some of the
barriers that genuinely                electricity and spaces where      greatest barriers to the fight
obstruct the message uptake.           the only media for hundreds       against HIV/AIDS – with the
This is evident in the HIV and         of miles around promoted          world’s future generations
AIDS landscape where issues            washing powder.                   most at risk. Young people are
of stigma, denial, fear and a             Social mobilisation is often   struggling to find their way in
lack of open dialogue cannot           used to complement more           life, in the context of a global
be mediated through media              conventional communication        epidemic that forces them to
on its own. Government’s               tools. In the case of the         strongly consider each and
mass media AIDS campaign               Youth Community Dialogue          every decision with regard to
Khomanani “Caring Together             Programme, media was              sex, lifestyle and relationships
for Life” demonstrated that            used to complement and            as potentially life-threatening.
social mobilisation coupled            where possible amplify            A lack of dialogue at the
with media interventions was           the mobilisation. The latter      community level is restricting
the most likely method to              approach was interesting in       positive behaviour change.
increase message impact as             that the content and issues          The Youth Community
well as contribute to changing         emanating from the dialogue       Dialogues endeavoured to
behaviour.                             could dynamically inform the      increase awareness and engage
   Social mobilisation can go          editorial and participants for    youth at the community level.
where no medium reaches.               the media.                        Offering young people a voice
Face-to-face communication                The success of HIV             within their own community
can reach beyond social and            prevention and control in         while providing essential
environmental barriers, thus           Uganda between 1991 and           information on the impact of
assisting in influencing both          1998, where prevalence            HIV and AIDS is in keeping
individual and inter-personal          dropped from 21% to 9.8%,         with the following goals:
dynamics.                              points to the positive impact     ◊ Break the cycle of new HIV
   Consistent with the objective       of being able to mobilise a       infections and help youth
of inspiring change, social            community at a grassroots         infected and affected by the
mobilisation is an effective tool      level.                            epidemic
to reach communities and talk             In the case of the Youth       ◊ Promote ABC (international
to individuals in a direct way.        Community Dialogue                best practice)
The dialogue campaign was              Programme, the mobilisation       ◊ Promote VCCT (voluntary

                                                                                  YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
confidential counselling and      This link between direct social   leveraging that WOM.
testing)                          mobilisation and mass media          This extension of social
◊ Expand face-to-face             – primarily on community          mobilisation initiatives into
communication and outreach        radio – serves to leverage        the media focused on the
programme support at a            the potential for word of         engagement of community
community level                   mouth with regard to positive     leaders and member
◊ Support an effective            behaviour change amongst          individuals, civil society
integration of mass media         youth, in terms of adopting       groups and NGOs in order
and outreach, to capture the      health-seeking behaviours         to achieve social mobilisation
imagination of youth around       and consistent prevention         toward the prevention of HIV
the world                         techniques.                       infection and the support of
◊ Rally and empower South            Word of Mouth (WOM)            those infected and affected by
African youth to break the        is a powerful form of             HIV and AIDS.
silence, encouraging them         communication. Studies               The challenge remains
to do something about HIV         have shown that WOM has           one of ensuring that mass-
and AIDS in order to build a      a bigger impact on actual         media campaigns cascade
positive future                   behaviour than any other          to community involvement
   Linking community              source of communication.          through authority and respect
dialogue or “community            Word of Mouth Media               in order to extend and leverage
action” to media interventions    (WOMM) is communication           exposure to the young voices
of the campaign served            using mass media platforms        present.
to extend the reach of the        that is specifically focused on      Social mobilisation amplified
awareness campaign and the        increasing and affecting WOM.     through media will remain
engagement of thousands           Community mobilisation is         an integral part of the overall
of young people outside the       WOM in action: thousands of       communication strategy for the
dialogue session catchments       people talking to other people    dialogue campaign and other
but within the appropriate        in their own communities.         related African HIV and AIDS
geographical and cultural area.   WOMM is media focused on          initiatives.

The 46664 mural in KwaMakhutha.

Using Arts to Mobilise
Interview with Hecate Productions

        hululeka (Be Free)
        is based on the
        real-life stories
of people who have
lived with HIV/AIDS.
The play is hard-hitting
yet humorous, weav-
ing in the contemporary
rhythms of life in South
Africa while attacking
common myths and mis-
conceptions about the
pandemic. It is produced
by theatre company Viva          Hecate Productions performing in the Youth Community Dialogues.
Hecate, and was staged
at all nine of the provin-       Yvonne                                say, “no, no, but”, because then
cial dialogues, kicking          They’re based on stories of           it defeats the purpose, and also
off the discussion               people living in South Africa         it breaks the stigma, so if people
at each.                         who are HIV-positive.                 think that, then it’s okay.

   Richard Frank spoke to        Richard                               Daniel
actors Daniel de Lange, Batha-   Bathabile, is this your first         What we say to them is, we’re
bile Mashego and Ronny           HIV/AIDS play?                        not HIV-positive, but if we
Maputa, and producer Yvonne                                            were, we would look exactly
Kershaw, one of several Hecate   Bathabile                             like this. If we’re managing
teams performing around the      This was the second time play-        the disease we could still look
country.                         ing an HIV-positive person. The       healthy and handsome!
                                 first time was on a soap opera.
Richard                                                                Richard
Where does this play come        Richard                               And Daniel, what have you
from?                            Do you ever get looked at dif-        been involved with?
                                 ferently because you play in an
Daniel                           HIV-positive role?                    Daniel
It was written by an actor                                             I’ve done a lot of directing for
called David James. He inter-    Bathabile                             educational theatre and for
viewed people who are HIV-       I hear that it happens, but it        industrial and corporate
positive and created these       hasn’t happened to me. There          theatre, and have been work-
sketches, and then wove it all   was just this one time in Dur-        ing for this company Viva
together.                        ban where after the show              Hecate for three years now, so
                                 people came to us and gave us         I’ve been with this play from
Richard                          hugs, [saying], “Oh, you’re so        when it started.
So they’re true stories?         brave.” And you can’t exactly            This play has been

                                                                                  YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
                                                                        have been able to iron it out.
                                                                        But most of the pupils get
                                                                        the satire about that situation
                                                                        because they know that Jacob
                                                                        Zuma said he was quoted out
                                                                        of context and all of that.

                                                                        You have different versions
                                                                        of the play for different

                                                                        Not exactly, but when we have
                                                                        an older audience, we make
                                                                        the characters older. The two
The cultural performance at the KwaMakhutha dialogue.
                                                                        school girls don’t wear blazers,
                                                                        we’ll wear overalls, then we’re
workshopped; it was different         ging and you don’t want to        factory workers or domestic
to what it is now. We saw what        force the message down their      workers or things like that.
works and what doesn’t and            throats, you want it to sink
then we reshaped it and I think       into them and get them to         Daniel
we’re quite happy with the            start asking questions in         We’ve done it for primary
product as it is now. And it          their own heads and start         schools, high schools,
might still change, it might still    speaking to each other in         corporates, grassroots level,
evolve.                               their community.                  high society...

Richard                               Richard                           Richard
It looks like it evolves. From        Do you ever worry that some       Who are the people you talk to
Middelburg to here, two weeks         of the satire goes over their     the most?
later, you threw in a few differ-     heads and you’re actually
ent things.                           propagating a myth? When          Bathabile
                                      people do not laugh and           High school kids. And it’s just
Daniel                                they’re supposed to laugh.        shocking what these kids get
And you’ll see something else                                           up to, so it’s needed.
the next time you come.               Bathabile
                                      It’s a very simple and            Daniel
Bathabile                             straightforward play. I think     This year is the first year that
And also we feed off the audi-        that they get it. The only time   we’re working with 46664.
ence. Five minutes into it you        we worry is when we are           It’s been very inspiring that
already know what kind of             working with high school kids     Madiba is supporting us in this
people you have in the audi-          and we hope that we keep          cause and that we’re working
ence and you work around that.        their attention. But we’ve had    on the project together.
                                      good responses.                      And of course having his
Richard                                                                 Foundation associated with
How would you describe this           Daniel                            this gives us status, whereas
type of acting?                       What has happened before, my      before sometimes people
                                      character says, “Look, I’ve got   would view it sceptically, now
Daniel                                it on very good authority that    it’s as if it is a good brand, now
It’s theatre with a purpose.          a shower after sex definitely     they believe in it.
You’re entertaining but at            works.” Some high school
the same time you’re leaving          kids have said, “But listen,      Richard
people with a message. You            the shower after sex thing,       Do you ever get bored with the
don’t want to be finger-wag-          what’s up with that?” So we       same play?

Bathabile                          like we were doing the show         we’re doing this for school kids
No you don’t. Because it’s         for them, and that’s our target     and talking about sex, we’re
different people every day and     market, so that felt really good.   promoting sexual behaviour.
they have different ideas, so it                                          And we’re saying, no, look,
keeps us fresh.                    Bathabile                           this is what your kids say to
                                   Actually, the local artists could   us after the show. These kids
Daniel                             relate, they understand the         are having sex, they’re having
Sometimes everyone will            depth of the problem, whereas       unprotected sex and they’re
laugh at the same point, but       international stars get it, but     learning it from each other
other times you get different      they get the figures.               so it’s best for us to go there
reactions. What’s great about                                          and tell them the truth; we
theatre is it’s a live medium      Daniel                              speak their language and they
so the reaction is immediate,      There was one guy who               understand.
it’s not like you have to wait     stood up and asked Ludacris            And you see that someone is
for your TV episode to be          a brilliant question. He            thinking and you’ve changed
screened.                          said, you’re here and you’re        someone’s mindset. For me,
                                   connected to this project and       when you know that someone
Richard                            now you’re promoting safe sex       is going to go home and sit
Do you still get nervous?          but the lyrics in your songs are    their kids down, you’ve done
                                   about promiscuity, so what’s        your job.
Daniel                             that about? So Ludacris said,
Especially when you perform        “Well, I practise safe sex.” But    Richard
in front of Madiba or artists      I think he needed to elaborate      Do reactions change
that we performed in front         on that.                            depending on where you
of yesterday [when 46664                                               perform?
ambassadors watched the            Richard
play], you feel pressure. What     Highlights?                         Daniel
was interesting was we found                                           What is amazing is that
that the artists, even though      Daniel                              whether you do it in Cape
they were listening, they          Meeting Madiba was very             Town, Johannesburg or
were quite inhibited, whereas      special. It was overwhelming.       in a small farm school in
the community gave us an           I was very moved. Especially        Mpumalanga, it has the same
immediate response and it felt     now, like in our history scene      effect. They might laugh at
                                                we speak about his     different places but they get
                                                release, and acting    touched in the same way.
                                                that moment, and
                                                having him sit         Bathabile
                                                right there, was       There isn’t much. They might
                                                awesome.               be having sex for different
                                                                       reasons, but they have
                                                 Bathabile             common problems.
                                                 It would have           We went to a school in
                                                 to be when we         Soweto and the teacher was
                                                 did this show         saying to us that these are
                                                 for a company         Grade 9s and 10s, that more
                                                 and there were        than half of our audience are
                                                 two men in the        parents, and some of them
                                                 audience, one         have more than one child. It’s
                                                 Christian and the     shocking. You go to another
                                                 other Muslim,         town where kids are having
                                                 who came to us        sex because they need to,
                                                 after the show.       because they need the money
                                                 They were talking     for the government [child
Above: Hecate                                    about how, if         care] grant.

                                                                                YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
In some of those schools,
is HIV closer to some than
others? Do you ever have
people crying in your

All the time, there is always
one person in the audience
who’s crying. We had a
young woman coming to us
afterwards saying that she       Hecate Productions performs Khululeka.
doesn’t know where to go,
her mother passed away              it makes our job very difficult,      of Education. We go to a
from HIV/AIDS-related illness because you’re giving them                  school and discuss amongst
about a year ago.                   one message but now there’s           ourselves, will we do the
   She’s got no one. No one has all this subtext with this                condom demonstration? We
ever come to her and said look, message.                                  don’t want to offend people,
maybe we should take you                                                  and we ask permission from
for counselling. She lives with     Richard                               the school. If we’re going to
relatives, but they don’t talk to Are we changing people’s                say, practise safe sex, but these
her about it.                       behaviour?                            kids don’t know how to use a
                                                                          condom, [then what?]…
Daniel                               Bathabile
And then Bathabile plays             With these community                 Daniel
Miriam, who gets raped. Often        dialogues, we have had a             So we’re saying use condoms,
there are girls in the audiences     lot of kids saying “Well, I’m        but they don’t know to use
who have been through the            going to go out there and            them properly. Because if
same ordeal. Often we have           spread the gospel”. The truth        you’re not storing or using a
people laughing, but it’s from       is, when we leave here, we can       condom properly there is no
sheer shock.                         only hope that the message           point.
                                     stays in and they will go tell
Daniel                               their friends and families, but      Richard
What has been quite tricky           we don’t know.                       What’s your view on the
for us this year is that we do a                                          community dialogues?
condom demonstration after           Daniel
the show and we tell them that       And we can’t actually tell           Daniel
government condoms are 100%          people how to live their lives.      I hope there’s more of a rollout
safe, but now you know there         One thing that worries me            with this.
have been batches of condoms         though is that often 14-year-
that have been rejected.             olds, 15-year-olds will stand        Ronny
   So now we have to travel          up and say, but how can I            I think it’s excellent. This way
with these newspaper                 go to the clinic and get free        you break the community’s
clippings and we say,                condoms; they’re not going           silence. Then we can break the
“Government condoms are              to give it to me. And then           stigma.
100% safe, except, and the           secondly, if you don’t have             People don’t believe there is
serial code is…” so that is          money for bread, how the hell        this illness, they only believe
very confusing. So we really         are you going to go and buy          it when they see it. So rather
hope that the SA Bureau of           Durex condoms?                       don’t get sick now, find out
Standards and the government                                              about your status, that’s the
are going to work more closely       Bathabile                            message we’re trying to push
together and get this thing          We maybe need more                   to the community, and it’s
sorted out. Because otherwise        support from the Department          working.

  The following section is made up of a few of the key reflections on the
  Youth Community Dialogues.

Looking Towards the Future
Lesley Nkosi
Facilitator, Cool Ideas

      s we are taking              a platform for people to step
      the responsibility           out and look at each other as
      of HIV and AIDS              friends and peers and let’s
back to the community              talk about our problems and
through young people,
                                   let’s talk about our solutions.
                                   So you never know what
the future of tomorrow,            comes out. You’re always
we’re trying to estab-             surprised as to how much
lish what are the unique           there is out there that hasn’t
problems with regard to            been done or that can be
                                   done and how easy it is when
HIV and AIDS within
                                   it turns out. So it’s always
the communities.                   exciting when it comes out.

  And then see if we can           What are some of the
come up with specific unique       things you have found
solutions to these problems        at these community
and then have the youth make
unique commitments.
                                   In the North West, Lerome,
When you go into one               I found that it is a mining
of these dialogues do              community and I found that
you know what’s going              the aspect of aspiration for
                                   young people makes them
to happen?                         susceptible to exploitation
                                                                      Lesley Nkosi.

No. When you go into it,           by those who are working
you’ve got to be really open-      in the mines. Those guys are
minded to whatever possibility     earning in the region of R7000
there can be. All I’ve got to do   a month and they carry the
is make sure that I encourage      power. It’s also culture, in a
young people to talk about         way, working against them, in
their issues to each other and     the sense that the roles within
not to me.                         relationships are males being
   The one thing that I always     superior beings and females
try to avoid is to create a        taking all sorts of crap because
teacher-student environment,       they are the weaker sex in the
where you’re going to teach        relationship. That makes them
them how to behave, you’re         very vulnerable.
going to tell them what to do;        So you find that these girls
it’s already been done. This is    know that the guy is going         Participant in the Galeshewe dialogue.

                                                                                 YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   
46664 ambassadors.

out with six other girls in the       culture. You find that with          What was emphasised there
community, but because you            HIV messaging it’s easier for     was that people have to start
can buy me Carvelas and nice          young people to be oblivious      planning around that whole
shoes and nice clothing I don’t       because they are afraid of        effect of culture and respect.
mind as long as I’m one of them       expressing to their parents       Let’s turn it around and make
because I still enjoy the benefits.   that they are aware of HIV        it work for us instead of
   But these guys also have the       and AIDS because that is          against us.
power to say why would you            going to expose the fact that        Because I can’t talk to an
want me to wear a condom,             they are sexually active or       older person, [firstly] I have to
you know, don’t you trust me.         that they’re aware of sex, so     try to make an effort to open
I’m the man with the money,           there’s the taboo, you don’t      up a platform of dialogue
I’m giving you gold. That is          talk about sex because that’s     with older people, but second,
the prime problem.                    something that’s not supposed     because now I know as a
   And you also find that in          to be done.                       young person that being older
taverns, at night, around 3              And they cannot                makes me wiser than the
o’clock in the morning, there         communicate with their            younger person then I should
are young people. Sixteen-year-       parents at any level when it      serve as an example to the
old girls hang out with 64-           comes to that sort of stuff. So   younger people and guide
year-old men, just for the sake       they cannot show that they’re     them and tell them. So we have
of getting the entertainment          aware and they cannot teach       created an environment of
because those guys pay. So            each other. So respect has        brotherhood.
children are at risk and they         worked against them.                 Now they have made a
don’t have facilities where              The principle of respect       commitment to be brothers
they can focus on being young         with black people is working      and sisters to each other and
and be creative and find their        against them, because it’s        to tell each other truths and to
talents and stuff like that.          respect to the level where        guide each other towards the
   In Giyani it was the most          it’s crippling. You cannot        right direction when it comes
saddening story, because              communicate to someone who        to HIV and AIDS and sexual
these guys are victims of             is older than you.                behavioural patterns.

Ambassador Close-Up
Thembi Ngubane
 Ambassador, 666

      hembi Ngubane               schools and do HIV/AIDS
      comes from Khay-            awareness in schools and
                                  speak as a positive speaker
      elitsha township            with people that have lost
outside Cape Town. She            hope. I also go to parliaments
has toured South Africa           and speak to people who
                                  have the power to influence
speaking about what it is         the community. So I’m a
like to live with HIV and         motivational speaker and I’m
AIDS.                             involved in a lot of work.

 This all started with an audio   How has motherhood
diary that she began to keep      been so far, especially
in 2004 to be broadcast on        as HIV-positive parents
National Public Radio in the
                                  to an HIV-negative
United States. At first she
wanted to keep her identity       baby?
anonymous. But when she           Well it’s been great; I’ve been
went on a speaking tour in the    enjoying being a mother. She’s
US she saw people’s positive      three now, she just turned
response and decided to tell      three yesterday and it was         Above: Thembi Ngubane, 46664 ambassador.
her story to people in South      difficult at first to be HIV-
Africa. Her blog is at http://    positive and also to come to
thembisaidsdiarytour.vox.         terms with understanding
com/                              that you might have an HIV-
                                  positive or a negative baby.
How did you get                      So it was a very difficult
involved with 46664 as            choice for both me and my
an ambassador?                    partner, Melikhaya. It was
I got to know the Foundation      a very difficult experience
and its work this year when       for both of us, but we have
they first heard my diary.        a belief that people should
                                  see that this is not a death
What is your                      sentence, this is something
involvement in your
                                                                     Langa, Western Cape.
                                  that can be manageable, and
community?                        we managed to the point
In Khayelitsha I used to be       where we had a baby who
in a support group, then          is negative and now we are
the group got divided.            living healthy lives.
I’m involved in many
things that include HIV,          How’s your health at
for instance I work with          the moment?
different companies. I’m an       My CD4 count has gone up,
ambassador for UNICEF; I go
                                  I’ve been on ARVs for three
out in countries like India and
I speak to mothers-to-be about    years. I started on ARVs in
how to be an HIV-positive         2005 and my CD4 count was
mother. So I work with a lot      147 and now my CD4 count is
of companies where I go to        around 600, so it’s going great.   Langa, Western Cape.

                                                                               YOUTH IN DIALOGUE   61
General Reflections
Lebo Ramafoko
 Facilitator, Soul City

      oul City executive           put them at risk of getting
      Lebo Ramafoko                HIV.
      is also the “agony              I also had to give factual
aunt” of the
                                   information; if there were
                                   any myths I had to make
website. She facilitated           sure that people have the
the Soshanguve dialogue.           right information about those
                                      I had to know what to say        I think that they are so
What were your
                                   and I also had to be informed    much more important (not
objectives/expectations            about the issues.                saying the 46664 concerts are
going in to the                                                     not important) as an initiative
dialogue?                          What have you learnt             than just messages to raise
It was mainly to make                                               awareness.
sure that people are in
                                   from the dialogue?                  Perhaps we need to look
                                   I learnt that communities are
conversation with each other                                        at stakeholders. If people
                                   grappling with HIV, also that
and to facilitate a safe space                                      have issues with the clinics,
                                   dialogue is important, it’s an
for discussion.                                                     it doesn’t make sense if the
                                   opportunity for people to
   It was kind of like playing                                      clinics are not there.
devil’s advocate, by probing       talk to each other and help         We need to structure it
and getting people to realise      each other with issues           better. Had the relevant people
that, as they were divulging       surrounding HIV.                 been there, they would have
their personal lives, they were                                     said, hold on I can answer
also at risk. Making them
                                   Do you think that                that question for you. It is a
realise that the lives that they   dialogues like this are          good idea though, I think the
lead and their behaviour can       of any importance?               dialogues are very important.
Soshanguve, Gauteng.

Nelson Mandela Foundation
                                     vision and leadership of its       provides a unique facility
                                     Founder to provide a non-          which:
                                     partisan platform for public          ◊ Locates, documents and
                                     discourse on critical social       ensures the preservation of
                                     issues. Achieving community        these scattered resources
                                     participation in decision-            ◊ Collects and curates Mr
                                     making, even at policy levels,     Mandela’s personal archive
                                     is prioritised.                       ◊ Promotes public access
Nelson Mandela                          The Centre aims to              to these resources and fosters
                                     perpetuate and re-invigorate       dialogue around them
Centre Of Memory And                 the culture of engagement             ◊ Ensures that all initiatives
Dialogue                             using the examples set by Mr       in the name of Nelson Mandela
   The Nelson Mandela                Mandela of inclusive and open      are true to his legacy.
Foundation is a not-for-profit       dialogue that South Africa is         Memory is not an end in
organisation established in          famous for.                        itself. Its significance lies in its
1999 to support its Founder’s           Drawing on the rich             use. The Centre of Memory and
ongoing engagement                   traditions of transformative       Dialogue seeks to reach both
in worthy causes on his              dialogue, problem-solving          global audiences and those
retirement as President of           and social renewal that            systemically disadvantaged
South Africa. The Foundation         made possible South Africa’s       within South Africa by:
is registered as a trust, with its   remarkable transition, the            ◊ Undertaking outreach
board of trustees comprising         Centre:                            programmes, including
prominent South Africans                ◊ Aims to facilitate greater    travelling exhibitions, books,
selected by the Founder.             understanding and awareness        comic series, and internships
The Nelson Mandela Centre            about the problems faced by           ◊ Ensuring web-based access
of Memory and Dialogue               people, particularly in South      to information through its web
was inaugurated by Nelson            Africa and Africa, and the         portal
Mandela on 21 September              possible solutions available to       ◊ Supporting digitisation
2004, and endorsed as the            them                               initiatives designed to broaden
core work of the Foundation             ◊ Utilises comprehensive        access to resources
in 2006. The Nelson Mandela          methodologies to promote              ◊ Facilitating research by
Foundation, through its Nelson       dialogue between stakeholders      individuals and institutions.
Mandela Centre of Memory                ◊ Convenes result-oriented         We believe that the vehicle
and Dialogue, contributes to         stakeholder dialogue on key        for sharing memory effectively,
the making of a just society by      social issues identified through   for growing it, and for
promoting the vision and work        continuous engagement with         engaging it in the promotion
of its Founder and convening         partners.                          of justice, is dialogue. We
dialogue around critical social                                         actively open our memory
issues.                              Memory For Justice                 work – on the life and times
                                        Memory resources                of Nelson Mandela, the events
Dialogue For Justice                 documenting the life and times     and the people he influenced
  The Centre of Memory and           of Nelson Mandela are to be        or was influenced by – to
Dialogue aims to develop             found in an extraordinary          debate and discussion, and we
and sustain dialogue around          range of locations, both           draw on this memory work in
Mr Mandela’s legacy. It is           within South Africa and            convening dialogue on critical
committed to utilising the           internationally. The Centre        social issues that present a
history, experience, values,         of Memory and Dialogue             threat to justice in society.
               Nelson Mandela Foundation
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