Missio gave us the chance to meet Zanele, a jung african woman. She told us something about her life and her past. When she was a child she got infected with HIV and now she tries to help other people, who were also infected with HIV.

The following Video is an audio recording of the meeting with Zanele.

Video with Zanele

In the following you can recognize some impression of the meeting with Zanele.

Great experience, with you, Zanele!

Her smile is overwhelming, it took me off guard and I just had to smile with her. Zanele is such a strong woman and her own strength seemed to spread though out the room. Despite the painful past that is a part of her and will never leave her, she doesn’t identify herself with the problems she has, no, she is what she is, how God created her. Honestly I didn’t have the feeling to speak to a woman that carries a deadly virus in herself; she seemed so much like us. She’s got things she loves (dancing, singing, food, the snow here in Germany), things to cope with, problems. But she’s truly stronger than us. She tries to help other people with her experiences. And Zanele won’t give up, she enjoys her life as much as she can. I think the way she deals with her emotions is just the best, to say so. She doesn’t keep them inside for they’d rotten her, then. If she feels like crying, she’ll cry… if she feels like being rude than she’ll be rude. I’m very impressed of the way she brought her self to forgive her rapist. Which is because she, somehow- despite all the hatred she had in her heart- realized that it would destroy her, if she’d carry it along with herself the rest of her life. So she just greeted this man as any other man.

I’m happy to have been given the chance to meet Zanele. It’ll maybe change something; I really thought and will think about the things she told us, about herself and her story. Thank you so much!

PS: To what Patrick Voster told us. I think he’s right in claiming that you have to concentrate on moving on to get out of a trauma. It’s not important whether you have to face abuse, a deadly illness, great loss, … you have to carry on, how Zanele put it: “God will know what you can take if he puts you on a challenge.”

I think the meeting with Zanele was a nice and really interesting and impressive experience. I really enjoyed talking to her because she is really friendly and open-hearted. Because of her openness it was a nice and relaxed atmosphere, which made talking about serious subjects easier. She answered to our questions and we could learn lots of things about the life in Africa. The information she gave us about her work with street kids was really interesting. Zanele told us that she didn’t like that the people she told about her positive HIV-status don’t react normal, but show exaggerated compassion. I think it is important to know how people who are infected with HIV or who have suffered another tragedy want you to act when you are told about their fate. I think it was really nice, that Zanele continued talking, even when the “official talk” was over. She showed some personnel pictures of her cell phone to us, which we really liked. In my opinion it is really impressive how she deals with her life story, the psychical and physical pain she has suffered and the tragedy she has experienced. In spite of the harm she radiates lust for life and she likes to laugh much.

One thing that really amazed me about Zanele was her openness with which she talked about her past. She made it to her goal to help other people with telling her story marked by all these horrible blows of fate. To get over the anger and the sadness in such an unbelievable way and being able to talk about these shocking events, just like Zanele did, is remarkable and shows how strong she is. Furthermore, in the point of view of many African people she is breaking a taboo with having the heart to talk openly about AIDS. This is something i really admire.
Thank you Zanele!
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