The audio is in isiZulu. See English summary below.
MABUTHO: Nakuba zingekho izibalo ezisemthethweni ezibonisa ngokugcwele inani labantu abahaqwe ilesisifo nesesibagojele kulendawo, kepha ukwanda kwabantu abagulayo, kanye namakhaya aphethwe izingane eziyizintandane kuyizinkomba zokuthi kukhona okungahambi kahle kulendawo yaseNgwavuma. Ngokuka Vidla Dlamini ozalelwe kuyona lendawo eminyakeni engaphezulu kwamashumi amathathu edlulile okumanje usebenza esikhungweni sezintandane iNgwavuma Orphan Care uthi ubona sengathi umonakalo omkhulu udalwe ukuthi abantu bakulendawo bebenabafazi abangaphezulu kwababili, kanti benjalo nje bebesebenza kude namakhaya nalapha bebegcina sebethola abanye besifazane mhlawumbe abanegciwane.
VIDLA DLAMINI: Abantu abaningi kulendawo ngezimo zomsebenzi, abantu ebebesebenza ezimayini. Kusho ukuthi ngesikhathi u TEBA (The Employment Bureau of Africa) ediliza abantu kube ukuthi uma esenalo igciwane athelele wonke amakhosikazi. Ngokwesibalo nje uthole ukuthi uMnumzane unezingane ezingaphezulu kweshumi. Nazo njalo uthole ukuthi azivikelekile azinakho ukuphila impilo ephephile ngenxa yokweswela zigcina sezizibeka ezimweni zokuthola igciwane ngenxa yokuthi zifuna indlela yokuphila zikhohliseke zikhohliswa abantu bethi bayazithanda kanti nazo seziyaqhubeka nokulilanda igciwane ngaleyondlela.
MABUTHO: UNkosinathi Ndlazi uneminyaka engamashumi amabili nambili. Ungomunye wenqwaba yezinkadama zegciwane lesandulelangculaza kulendawo. Ukhule kanzima ebamba amatoho ukuze athole imali yokondla yena nezingane zakubo. Njengamanje ubebhizinisi lakhe elincane elenza amakhadi omshado kanye nama CV nathi ulibona lihamba kahle kakhulu. Naye unombono ofanaye noka Dlamini ngembangela yokwanda kwegciwane kulendawo.
NKOSINATHI NDLAZI: La ngaphandle kusasekhona namanje obaba abanabafazi ngabathathu Uthole ukuthi unabafazi ngabathathu nje abafazi bahlala bodwa akekho yena ule eGoli, unomunye umSuthu. Uthi uma ebuya le eGoli eze kulabomama njengamakhosikazi akhe. Uma ebathelela leligciwane uzobathelela bonke kanye kanye nabo futhi baphinde bathelele nezingane zabo. Enye into futhi la engiyibonile kunalaba bantu okuthiwa zinyanga. Izinyanga ezilapha endaweni yakithi ngiyacabanga ukuthi azikafundiseki. Basalokhu besebenzisa ama razor afanayo uma begcaba abantu. So nalokho ngiyacabanga ukuthi kungaba nomthelela omkhulu.
MABUTHO: Okuhlalukayo ukuthi ezinye izinto ezinomthelela ekwandeni kwezinkandama kanye negciwane le HIV kulendawo kungenxa yokuthi kusadliwa ngoludala. Abesifazane noma bazi ukuthi abayeni babo abaziphethe kahle kepha abakwazi ukuthi babanxuse ukuba basebenzise ama condoms uma belala nabo. Umama uNestar Mkhwamubi unabantwana abayisikhombisa (7) nokuyinto ejwayelekile kulendawo. Phezu kwabantwana bakhe uphinde agade abantwana bakadadewabo abane abayizinkedama ngenxa yegciwane lesandulelangculaza. Uthi umyeni wakhe usebenza eThekwini, lapho ehlala khona nomunye wesifazane abanezingane ezimbili naye. Uthi akanankinga nalokho ngoba kuyinto ejwayelekile endaweni. Uthi nakuba azi ukuthi umnyeni wakhe unowesifazane ahlala naye onezingane akakwazi ukuthi amnxuse ukuthi asebenzise icondom uma efikile ngoba walotsholwa nokufana nokuthi umyeni wakhe wamthenga kwabakubo. Uthi usephila ngokuthi adane aya kozibheka ukuthi akakalitholi yini igciwane ngoba umkhwenyana wakhe akafuni nakuyizwa eyokusebenzisa icondom.
NESTAR MKHWAMUBI: Hhayi cha ke bandla yena akakuthandi lokho. Khona abanye bayakwenza. Kodwa ke yena uye athi uziphethe waqomisa umuntu eyintombazane wahlala naye baneyingane manje. Manje ngahamba ngaya kozi check ngathola ukuthi ngigcinekile angikabi naso lesisifo.
MABUTHO: Indaba ka mama uMkhwamubi ingumzekelo wempilo yeningi labesifazane abahlala kulendawo izimpilo zabo ezincike kubayeni babo, iningi labo elinabanye besifazane abathandana nabo kanye nasemadolobheni amakhulu lapho besebenza khona. Nakuba umama umkhwamubi engakalitholi igciwane kepha umakhelwane wakhe umama u Lesifah Mpontshana naye impilo yakhe ebincike kumyeni wakhe ugcine ngokuthi alithole igciwane ngenxa yokuthi nakuba ebemazi umyeni wakhe ukuthi ubebathanda abantu besifazane kepha ubengeke alinge amtshele ukuthi asebenzise icondom.
LESIFAH MPONTSHANA: Mina umkhwenyana wami ubebathanda abantu besifazane. Mina bengivele ngiziphethe kahle washona yena. Ukushona kwakhe akashonanga sengimbonile ukuthi unegciwane. Kodwa emva kwalokho ngasala ngizibona ngigula mina ngabona ukuthi kungcono kengiye kocheck ngoba bengimbona ukuthi ungumuntu obevele ebathanda kakhulu abantu besifazane.
MABUTHO: Uthi nakuba umkhwenyana wakhe ebengenaso isithembu, kepha ubaziwa ukuthi uyisoka lamanyala endaweni.
LESIFAH MPONTSHANA: Ubengenaso isithembu yena. La ekhaya bekuyimina ngedwa. Kodwa la ngaphandle ubuye uzwe ukuthi uthandana nobani, uthandana nobani. Engibaziyo esebeshonile ngathi bathathu. Lona omunye okhona onengane naye uyagula njengami.
HIV/AIDS in Ngwavuma
Ngwavuma, in the north of KwaZulu-Natal province near the Swaziland border, has been hard-hit by HIV/AIDS. The resulting problem is the increase of children-headed households.
Although there are no official statistics on the impact of HIV/AIDS in the area, the high number of patients on antiretroviral treatment and the increase of children-headed households indicate that this mountainous rural village is under siege.
According to Vidla Dlamini ‘ who was born and bred in the area ‘ and is now working for Ngwavuma Orphan Care ‘ the combination of polygamous marriages and the migration of local men to the cities to seek employment and their subsequent, have, contributed to the spread of the pandemic.
‘Most men in this area were migrant workers. When TEBA (The Employment Bureau of Africa) started retrenching mine workers those who got the virus from their girlfriends would come back and infect all their wives at home. And normally men used to have more than 10 children. Those children would be exposed to the virus because some people would lure them with money into sexual relationships and because they have no money they would not refuse and then the virus continued in that way,’ he said.
Nkosinathi Ndlazi, 22, is one of several AIDS orphans who are now heading households in the area. He grew up under very tough conditions when he and his siblings lost their parents, while at high school. However, that did not deter him from becoming an entrepreneur. Today he owns a small printing shop and is planning to open an internet cafÃ© soon. He shares the same sentiments with Dlamini on the issue.
‘Here we still have fathers who have three wives and the man is working in Johannesburg where he has a girlfriend. When he gets the virus he will infect all the wives and the wives will infect their children. Another thing that I have noticed here is that our traditional healers are still using unsafe practices, like using the same razor blades to introduce traditional medicines to the bloodstream. So, I think that also has a big impact,’ said Ndlazi.
It is quite clear that people in this area are still very much attached to their culture and traditions ‘ which in most cases give men more power than women. Even when women know that their husbands are not faithful, they can’t tell them to use condoms to protect themselves from getting the virus. Nester Mkhwamubi has seven children. In addition to her children, she is also looking after three others belonging to her late sister who died of an AIDS related illness. She says her husband is working for a construction company in Durban where he stays with another woman with whom he has two children. She says she does not have a problem with that because it is a common practice. But can she dare tell her husband to use a condom? She says, even if she wishes, she can’t because he paid full lobola (bride gift) to her family which gives him absolute power over her.
‘Although some do use condoms, my husband does not want to use it. He normally says that he is the one who is in charge and no one can tell him anything because he married me a long time ago and he is now having children and, therefore, he can’t start using a condom now. I recently went to check my status and, fortunately, I don’t have the virus,’ she said.
Mkhwamubi’s story is an example of the challenges that are faced by most women in the area ‘ whose lives are mostly depending on their husbands who work in urban areas – where they also have sexual relationships with other women. Although Mkhwamubi is lucky not to have been infected, her neighbor, Lesifah Mpontshana whose husband passed away two years ago is now on anti-retroviral treatment. She says although she knew that her husband was a womanizer, she would not dare tell him to use a condom.
‘I was faithful, but my husband was a womanizer. He never disclosed his status, but after he passed away I got sick and then I went to check my status where I discovered that I have the virus,’ she said.
She says, ‘he (her husband) was not a polygamist. I was the only wife. But he had a lot of girlfriends because you would, from time to time, hear people saying he is in a relationship with this one and that one. Three of his girlfriends are dead. The other one whom he had a child with is sick like me’.