Maverick Life

Not Me, Not Mine: 16 days, 16 stories of courage – Day Fourteen

By Leonie Marinovich 14 December 2012

LEONIE MARINOVICH's series of portraits are the catalyst for a discussion in which urban African women speak frankly about the nuances and strategies of living with their HIV status, and of dealing with male violence in their societies.

Marinovich has long been photographing people in rural communities who are living with HIV, and this collaboration with UNAIDS was an opportunity to chat about the things people usually don’t discuss about the virus, and for women of all ages to speak about their life experiences.

One of the most emphasised themes to emerge was that of image, self-image and how women wish to present themselves to the world. The interplay between these intimate confidences and the confident, comfortable manner that these women offer themselves to the photographer’s camera interact in a remarkable way with the stories of their lives and emotions that they present verbally.

Linda de Villiers

Born ’69, December 31

Diagnosed 2006

First of all, I found out he had cheated and I asked him about condom use and he

kind of said yes and I half believed him.

The thing is you never know what you’ll feel, right? And the period from when I

got tested to when I got the results was the worst of my life, because I didn’t know for sure. I sent a lot of really rude SMSes to my ex at the time, while I was waiting for the test.

My doctor said, You’re HIV-positive. For some reason, I felt some relief. Okay, at

least I know. Now I know what it is, I know what to do and how to deal with it

and I’ll deal with it. I wasn’t angry anymore, I lost my anger. I can’t go backwards,

I don’t want to go down; there’s only one way to go and that’s forwards, really.

My grandmother is very Christian and for her like, HIV/AIDS is like punishment from God or whatever, I don’t have a Christian background. I don’t think sex is a very bad thing and this is a punishment. For me it’s just like, it’s just a disease, I’ll deal with it.

Me, from day one, I have been open about it to everybody here, people I work with, friends, all my family, I told everybody at the same time.

In the beginning I worried about having a relationship with somebody again – can I still have sex? Would people still want to have sex with me?

I was very, very depressed for a long time and I didn’t see the point of life anymore, but looking back on it, with HIV, it’s manageable.

I know I’m educated, I’m not poor, I have medical aid, I can search things on the internet, go to the right doctors.

Obviously we all have to die, but I don’t want to die young, I want to live life to

the fullest and get old. DM


Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

Maverick Life

Wellness: Relationship time-out

By Stefan Blom