For most people, when driving into Soweto you are greeted by an exciting “Welcome to Soweto” sign. What you don’t see behind the person who took the picture of the sign, there are mine dumps. I have a theory that opportunities never made it past these mine dumps. Meet Lebo, much like millions of young people growing up in Soweto who were fired up, eager and had a sparkle in their eye each time someone mentioned the word “change”.
Little did I know that this chronic disease would have been close to home. My dad died from diabetes and suspected HIV just 3 years after my activism. Let’s not talk about how this disturbed my matric year.
About those opportunities that never made it past the mine dumps – that hit me in my matric year. What’s a rebel without a cause to do now? No information, no university forms, our schools didn’t have connections nor did high profile motivational speakers hit our shores to encourage the handful that still had hope. A lot of us fell by the way side: cases of HIV infections, pregnancy, drug abuse, gangs. As for me, I was lucky enough to get a job and earn money to get a light-weight certificate. The universe has always kept me within the spectrum of wanting to change lives. Something about losing my dad didn’t sit well with me, still doesn’t even today. I know something different can be done to control, improve and innovate new systems of care or just a spread of knowledge.
YEARS later, the universe (yes, I believe in the universe) conspires to bring me back to this innate need to find a solution, where I actually started. I bumped into a team of enthusiasts who introduced me to what Aviro was trying to achieve. Three things stood out and lured me:
- Passion for helping people. (I mean, check!)
- Give the people what they need, educate by any means necessary (Yaaas!)
- Doers and not talkers (I’m not crying, you’re crying!)
If this be the very last thing I do with my life, I am indeed happy.
Give the people what they deserve!