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State of Denial

Premiere Date: September 16, 2003

   

Breaking Silence: Just Call Me Lucky

Lucky Mazibuko was the first self-declared HIV-positive journalist in South Africa. Read a selection of his weekly columns from the Sowetan, the country's largest newspaper.

Find Joy in Life's Often Cruel Road

Lucky MazibukoApril 15, 2003 — I am elated to be back after four weeks on leave. And yes, I am glad to be alive. To be quite frank, I still feel fatigued but spiritually I am on top of my little world.

You may wonder silently and perhaps grudgingly so, why I am so inspired when there is so much despondency, hatred, discrimination, prejudice, loneliness, greed, hunger, starvation, death and dying, and hopelessness and indeed war, in this world.

I remain equally, if not more, confused than you are. In fact, I have since refrained from finding answers — I am simply enjoying the ride of life, my life.

I am fulfilling the promise of life — to live it to the fullest. To enjoy the trials and tribulations. To rise above my challenges.

In this highly adventurous, cruel, strikingly beautiful, agonizingly and joyfully unpredictable journey called life, I seek to find salvation. I search tirelessly for emotional inspiration.

To find hope, undying love, compassion, glorious joy, fulfilling happiness. But most of all, I seek harmony and peace and tranquility. For me to accomplish my dream, I have no alternative but to focus on the positive and constructive aspects of life, I look on the bright side of every situation.

Not that I am turning a blind eye to the tragedies and the misfortunes of our times but I suppose the best I can do under these undesirable circumstances is to accept, learn, understand and move on.

I have seen many people, my friends, relatives, colleagues, in-laws and acquaintances drown in their predicaments.

It is almost like being trapped in a quicksand, the more you wriggle, the deeper you sink.

I am old, battered, bruised, experienced and have matured sufficiently to comprehend that time is in the present and continuous tense. There is absolutely nothing one can do with the second that has ticked away and left one in the lurch, so to speak. Yet time, the present and future, heals all wounds. In simple terms, one cannot, should not and must not cry over spilled milk.

I am greatly inspired by individuals who after suffering a major setback pick up the spear and strike to do and be better.

Not only for themselves but most importantly, for the upliftment of those who are less privileged than a few of us.

This is the vision and the purpose of life, my life. This is the greatest lesson of living with HIV for the past 11 years. HIV has taught me to be selfless. To share my experience, my time, my love, my possessions and my passion with the rest of humankind.

I have learnt to believe in myself, I have gained more confidence in my abilities. My spirituality has been reinforced and I believe in the greater being. I am content and fulfilled.

As I celebrated my 34th birthday last Friday, all the disenfranchised, the homeless, the poverty stricken, the suppressed and oppressed people in the world were on my mind.

I wanted to share the celebration of my birthdate with all the children who are scorned and spat on, the beggars on the streets of the ghetto. The so-called scumbags of the universe.

To provide the warmth and comfort that every one of us so truly deserves, if only for a while.

To motivate them to strive for what most of us, from our comfort zones that make us think we are better than others, consider to be a cursed life.

This is the purpose of life, my life. It can be yours too.

Next: Ulale Ngoxolo, Mfowethud
"I had no idea that my own brother would die of AIDS." | Go »





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