Phumzile Zwane

When a pregnant Phumzile Zwane tested positive for HIV in 2009 her world stopped. “I couldn’t breathe. I looked at my tummy and my eyes filled with tears. I was petrified,” she recalls. This changed after her encounter with Mentor Mothers — HIV-positive women trained by the organisation m2m to provide education and psychosocial support to pregnant women and new mothers at public health facilities. They taught Phumzile how to live a healthy life and to prevent the transmission of HIV to her baby. When she gave birth to a baby girl who was HIV negative Phumzile applied to be a Mentor Mother. Now she passionately transfers her knowledge and experience to other women who feel the same sense of fear she felt when she received her test results. With her positive attitude she educates hundreds of mothers-to-be and new mothers at the Siphosensimbi Community Health Clinic, inspiring them to live a happy, healthy life. — Fatima Asmal