Numsa trains Aids counsellors

Break the silence while you can Miriam Makhalamele

She died in silenceShe is who she was;

Promising, determined she rose against all oddsWhy the silence?

The agony on her face showed even when concealedHer body lost shape by day.

Like it or not HIV infects or affectsWhen is the deafening silence gonna break?

If she could have told of her despair, fear and anger maybe her suffering could have been less

But nature has taken its course.She is no more.

She is who she was, but now no moreWhy her and why now?

Are questions clear on the faces of her beloved ones

Break the silence while you can for tomorrow may never come.

(dedicated to a Numsa comrade)

Participants learnt how to conduct themselves during counselling sessions and how to relate to those wanting advice. Not every sufferer wants their status disclosed therefore confidentiality is essential.

Connie Sejeo an invitee and a virus carrier took the floor on the third day. She is known for her poetic verses whenever she takes the floor. Prior to her presentation she recited :


Why do you call betrayal love?Where has your humanity gone?

Did you think about my offspring?Did you think about that other man’s wife?

No, no you didn’t

Pay-back time has arrived:

Your selfishness has caught up with you for you both are dead.

Participants were left gasping. Others’ eyes glistened as tears rolled down their cheeks. A few gave a round of applause.”Living with the virus is not the end of world,” Sejeo said. She told the future counsellors that talking about pain heals.

Participants also heard about the drug programmes including anti-retrovirals, which are available from health centres. Facilitators emphasised the importance of eating healthily. They recommended that sufferers must eat high fibre meals three times a day, including fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and fish.

Supplements such as soya drinks can also help boost sufferers’ immune systems. The Aids pandemic has befallen the country and experienced and skilled workers are dying.

“Curb the situation by practising ABC – A= abstain, B= be faithful, C= condomise),” advises Zwane.