Andrew Esiebo

Andrew Esiebo

Born in Lagos, 1978 Andrew Esiebo through documentary and journalism photography, creates portraits of urban life in Nigeria and reveals many facets of his country’s culture and heritage. His images have featured in international publications including Photoblogs Magazine (USA), Voiceworks (Australia), and the United Nations Global Report on Human Settlements, and in shows including Meeting in the Middle East (Syria, 2006) and the Noorderlicht Photography Festival 2007. Esiebo is a member of the Black Box photographers collective, Nigeria. He has recently been artist-in-residence with Visa Pour La Creation, France and Africa Beyond , United Kingdom.

Living Positive
The impact of HIV/AIDS on women is particularly acute. Especially in Africa, women are often economically, culturally and socially disadvantaged and lack equal access to treatment, financial support and education. It has even been found that in a number of societies women are mistakenly perceived as the main transmitters of sexually transmitted diseases. HIV positive women are treated very different from men in many developing countries: men are likely to be ‘excused’ for their behavior that resulted in their infection, whereas women are not.
Women in the developing world face more stigmatization and suffer more negative effects.
The above situation is the same in many townships in South Africa.
But in Mpumalanga a black township in South Africa is Thoko Ngubeni, a singer, lesbian and HIV positive who with her talents, brevity and social works have gained respect and acceptability in her community.
Rejected by families, community, friends and was at the verge of death, Thoko with determination bounced back to life with resolve using her talents, time and little resource to ensure women don’t go through tough stigma she experienced on releasing her status as HIV Positive.
Through a women support group called Mafithobelae founded by her with other women in Mpumalanga she has been striving to win the war of stigmatization on HIV/AIDS in Africa.
They have been doing that by organize public talks and enlightenment on HIV/AIDS especially on the issue of status test, medication and issues on stigmatization.
Their messages are also brought to children through weekly children gathering, educating them on living an HIV/AIDS free life, obedience to parents, teachers and advising them on focusing their life ambitions.
The women do go on a home-to-home visitation, preaching the gospel of living positive with HIV/AIDS in the community. They hope to extend this gospel to other communities but lack of funds has been the bane.
After receiving a grant of R10, 000 in acknowledgement of are social works in the community Thoko procured a shack home where she now lives for Mafithobelae with the intention of providing refuge for those rendered homeless as a result of their status as HIV/AIDS. Thoko is still struggling to get support release a debut which want to use to spread the message of Living Positive as HIV/AIDS worldwide dreams to move out of the shack to a decent place where people especially those who are HIV positive could stay and develop their talent in other to achieve their lives goals.

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