Last updated: 6 july, 2009 - 08:22 GMT


Thembi’s story

Thembi Ngubane

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Thembi Ngubane spoke out courageously about living with Aids in a South African township at a time when most people who had been infected in South Africa kept quiet about it.

Thembi recorded a Radio Diary when she was 19 about her experience, of the pain of having to break the news to her parents, of visits to the doctor, of her great love for her boyfriend Melikhaya and her daughter Onwabo, of her thoughts of not being around any more.

Thembi’s Story was heard by millions of people in a dozen countries and five languages.

On a tour of the United States, she met Bill Clinton and then-Senator Barak Obama. She travelled to Germany and India as a UNICEF ambassador.

In South Africa, she became a role model for young people living with HIV.

Thembi knew death wasn’t far away, but she made the most of the time she had. And last month Thembi died of drug-resistant TB at the age of 24.

Thembi’s Story is a tribute to her courage.

First broadcast on BBC World Service on 6 July 2009

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