Read Timbakazi's story directly from her:
My name is Tembakazi Qinga. I live at 9 Suikerbossie Street in Westlake. I am 37 years old with a husband and a child who is 5 years old. My child’s name is Pantsi Lithemba. I came to Westlake in 2003 from the Eastern Cape and in 2003 I found out that I was HIV positive. My friend Nozipho told me about the support group, so I joined it. I was very very sick with swollen glands. My CD4 count was 29. I was 47 kg. I was thin and I had TB and meningitis. Then I started ARV’s (anti-retroviral treatment) in May 2004. My child was born in October 2005. She was given medication for the first three months. She was tested at 3 months old and she is HIV negative. I bottle fed her. In May 2007 the doctor told me I have diabetes. I have to take an injection every morning and every night, as well as the ARV’s.
I started beadwork and now I am the Beadwork Supervisor at Westlake United Church Trust and I am making money now. I don’t have to ask my husband for money now. I have my own bank account. I am now very happy and I don’t want to be sick again. I have put on weight. I am now 83 kg. In December I took money which I got from my beadwork to the Eastern Cape for my mother, and also some for my sister for her children. If ever I get rich one day I want to bless Di and the support group, and have a big party to celebrate. I have hope now that I will progress and go on in life. That is why I called my daughter Lithemba – it means hope.
On 25 May 2011, I was on TV, on the Expresso program on SABC 3 at 6.00am! We are making teddy bears out of bits of material for a shop called Congo Rose in Cape Town. I spoke in Xhosa about how the Trust has helped me, they understand that I must go and collect my treatment every month, and now my life is changed.
Latest news as at June 2013, my husband smokes dagga and I cannot stay in the house with him anymore – I have decided to move out with my daughter into a ‘bungalow’ (shack). However, I don’t have enough money to buy a wendy house which costs R3500. Therefore I ask anyone out there to please help me.