Funeka Bango

At Ubuntu HIV Clinic in Khayelitsha, the largest TB/HIV facility in the Western Cape, 31-year-old Funeka Bango makes a difference to each one of the 7 000 patients she treats every month. She was 25 years old when she was offered a post to pilot antiretroviral treatment just after it was introduced, and she’s the first to admit it wasn’t easy. But with the situation less “morbid” than before and unfailing support from a fantastic team, it’s a role she’s grown into and grown with. Today it’s more than a job: Bango is physically, mentally and emotionally stitched to her work. To broaden her impact and that of HIV medicine, she’s studying for her master’s in public health at the University of Cape Town. Together with her experience in the intricacies of HIV/Aids and its tremendous social baggage, Bango is striving to live by her motto: “Dare to accomplish big things by making a difference to others.”

Lu Larche