HIV/Aids

21 July 2016

Blind, HIV positive street child becomes motivational speaker

Born blind, Nthabiseng Moloi was abandoned by her parents when she was six. Her adoptive mother found her bleeding on the pavement following a gang rape.

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30-year-old Moloi says her mother’s love inspires her to share her story in hopes of helping others.

Raped by many men

“I was born blind, my foster mother tells me. My parents didn't want me because of my blindness, so they left me on the streets to suffer,” says Moloi from Qwaqwa in the Free State. “When I was only six years old, I had to learn how to survive, moving from one place to another.”

“A few years after (my parents) abandoned me, I was raped, and that’s when my foster mother, Melita Mofokeng, found me in the street bleeding,” she remembers. “I was taken to Manapo hospital where they discovered that I was raped by many men.

Read: How do you report rape when the police don't take you seriously?

“They then ran some tests and found out that I was infected with HIV,” she says. “I was hurt and crying and asking myself questions that I couldn't answer.”

“(Mofokeng) had the courage to step in and take me to her place,” says Moloi, describing the woman who took her in and sent her to school. “She ended up adopting me without ever judging me. She didn't have children of her own so I became her child.”

'I'll always be there for her'

“I am so grateful to (Mofokeng), who has become the mother I never had,” she says.

Mofokeng says she is proud of the woman her daughter has become.

“Nthabiseng is my child no matter what,” Mofokeng says. “I never thought I would have a daughter but I found one in her. I will always be there for her and guide her.”

Today Moloi is a motivational speaker.

Read: 5 apps you can use to report rape

Partnering with the youth development organisation loveLife, Moloi now speaks at schools and churches in the QwaQwa area, where she also tries to inspire other people living with HIV to live healthy lives and adhere to treatment. 

loveLife’s Thabo Mokoena says it is a joy to work with Moloi.

Loving and caring friend

“She is such an inspiration to other people and she is so strong,” he says. “We are very impressed with her.”

Moloi has also found love.

“At the age of 25 years old, I met this loving and caring friend of mine by the name of Thapelo Mokoena,” Moloi says. “We became friends. As time went by we decided to date each other. He is so supportive and always here for me.”

“I knew about her blindness, and I loved her more and vowed to take care of her,” says Thapelo. “As time went by, she sat with me and told me her life journey and how she was infected.

“I was shocked, but my love never faded away,” he adds. “I didn't stress too much. I accepted her the way she was,” he said. – Health-e News

Read more:

Mass rape in Africa ups HIV spread

South African men believe they are entitled to rape

'Brutal ordeal' for 12-year-old African girl

Health-e News is South Africa’s award-winning dedicated health news service producing news and in-depth analysis for the country’s print and television media.

 

Ask the Expert

HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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