Free State woman motivates others to live postively

Free State woman motivates others to live postively

A young HIV-positive woman from the Free State is turning life’s lemons into lemonade, and inspiring others to live a positive life.

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Kedibone Molapo was born with HIV but only discovered her status at the age of 16 after her mother passed
Kedibone Molapo was born with HIV but only discovered her status at the age of 16 after her mother passed

Kedibone Molapo’s life story is strewn with pain and hardship, but, she tells OurHealth, a few years ago she made a deliberate choice that instead of ending her life, she would live positively and try help others like herself.

Molapo, 18, was born with HIV but it was only at age 16, when her mother died, that she discovered her status during a medical check-up.

“I was initially so angry, furious in fact, that throughout my life no one had told me what was wrong with me,” says Molapo from Bethlehem in the Free State.

“I was born with HIV, but my grandmother only confirmed this to me after my mother passed away two years ago and only after a clinic picked up my status. It was a big shock,” says Molapo, who today is a motivational speaker helping others with HIV.

Molapo says she never suspected she was HIV positive, even though she was sickly growing up.

“My mother was always overprotective of me because I was always in and out of hospitals while growing up, but no one ever told me what was wrong with me,” she explains. “After my mother died, I was sick for a few months and did not get better so I went to the clinic and they ran tests on me. It was then that I was told about my status.

“I was so angry. I went home and asked my grandmother about everything. She explained it all to me and she tried to help me to understand. We then decided to go back to the clinic where I started treatment and I also went for counselling.”

Dealing with the diagnosis

Molopa says “it was not easy”. She feared dying and that if she lived, she would not have a normal life.[quote float= right]”Truly, I am so proud of myself and I just want to make people feel better and learn more about HIV”

“I kept asking myself if I would live and be like any child, but here I am today living a normal, healthy life like any other person my age.”

She says she owes a lot to her grandmother.

“She is always by my side guiding me all the way,” Molapo tells OurHealth.

It is clear that her grandmother, Mannuku Molapo, is proud of Molapo’s achievements as a motivational speaker and for taking charge of her health. “I am happy for my child. I always wish her well in everything that she is engaging in.”

Is Molapo angry that her deceased mother did not tell her about her status?

“No, I am not angry at my mother for hiding this issue from me. I understand she was just protecting me because children of today commit suicide because of these things. I myself did think of committing suicide but then I thought about my grandmother. I could not do that to her. I am living for her. She raised me so well to be who I am today.”

Molapo says that joining and attending support groups has helped her. “Through these groups I learnt a lot about my sickness and also about healthy living lifestyle

“Today, I am working as a motivational speaker. I go to schools and clinics to advise and motivate other people living with HIV. Truly I am so proud of myself and I just want to make people feel better and learn more about HIV.”

Her life coach, Monnapule Radebe, a LoveLife counsellor, is proud of what Molapo is doing: “People like Kedibone are inspiring in the world.”