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Born with AIDS, jaded by stigma

At only 18, Tlotlo Lillian Moilwa has a lot more in her plate. Unlike other teenagers whose whole life problems come to daydreaming about their crushes, battling with studies, rebelling against the world and fighting problems that come with puberty-there is an added burden to her tiny shoulders.

Moilwa was born with HIV and has struggled with stigma issues for a long time. But she did not want to wallow in self pity anymore, in March 2016, she decided it was time she went public about her status. She does not let negativity affect her at all; strong-minded, she is determined to live as long as God allows her to.

“I found out I was HIV positive when I was 10 years old, I was going through my late mother’s medical cards and found it written ’HIV transmitted from mother to baby’, At the time I didn’t understand what that meant at all, I didn’t even care to ask my aunt and grandmother. I was just very oblivious and went to join the other kids playing down my neighborhood.”

Both her parents succumbed to AIDS related illnesses, leaving her and her sister orphaned.”My mother passed on when I was six, that was in 2006 and my father later passed on when I was eight in 2008, they both died of AIDS,” Moilwa told WeekendLife.
According to her, stigma is a result of ignorance on the part of many people, and that is why she chooses to speaks openly about the feared HIV/AIDS. “I speak at schools and conferences; I also do it through radio, television and interviews to educate both kids and adults about the virus so they understand what it is and what it’s like to live with it,”she said.

 She has spoken to thousands of people, hoping to help educate others and reduce the stigma around HIV.  “Growing up knowing that I am HIV positive wasn’t a pleasing thing whenever a teacher stood up in front of me to talk about STIs I would feel uncomfortable in class, get embarrassed, shed tears as I had a haunting feeling that people could tell/see that I am HIV positive,” she shared.

While she admits that she gets tossed about by pain and feelings of low self worth where the reality of her status haunts her; she manages to rise above it all. “But no I don’t blame my mom or dad! I don’t know how they got the virus as well, so why would I point fingers?” she asserted.

She has a strong support system in TEEN CLUB; her aunt, grandmother and sister. “I am living positively with this virus, the fact that I am HIV positive is not a barrier to anything I want to do just like any other person, I date, I have fun but no I don’t take liquor like most youth.” She hopes that by using her voice and living as an example, she can help the world be a more understanding place for those who are afraid to be open about having HIV, so they can let go of the shame and feel comfortable in their own skin.

“As a teenager living positive; I got to realize that many young people are failing to accept the fact that they have the HIV virus thus I am trying to help them overcome that fear by granting them courage. I am also hoping that in time, the negative thoughts people have of HIV can die away through what I do.”          

According to Moilwa, she doesn’t announce her HIV status to the grocery store cashier or to new acquaintances out of the blue like a kid, but she does stand in front of crowds and openly talk about having HIV. “As an ambassador of Sentebale; a registered charity that supports orphans and vulnerable children, many of whom are affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, through education, psychosocial support, and care we give them the tools they need to lead healthy and productive lives.

I get to travel with them on different occasions where I am always given moments to speak to young people; and as I speak I will be leaving Africa to UK to meet the Patron of Sentebale, Prince Harry himself,” she added. She is part of only a handful of HIV positive Batswana, possibly the youngest, to have made public their status since David Ngele more than two decades ago.

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6th December 2023

Even though Botswana has over the years been performing extremely poorly at the Miss World competition, the country has confirmed that it will be hosting the beauty festival in 2026. Initially, the country was to host Miss World next year, something it failed to confirm before deadline. Director at Miss Botswana, Benjamin Raletsatsi, says Botswana will be ready then to host all participants. Miss Botswana Top 25 finalists left the boot camp yesterday. Quite shocking though, Miss Botswana team is still failing basics as responding to media inquiries on time yet it is dangerously hoping to host an event of high status

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DJ Sway ‘saved’ the YAMAs

22nd November 2023

DJ Sway, the daring and ambitious on-air presenter of Yarona FM, played a crucial role in saving the radio station’s music awards, known as the YAMAs. The event was initially dry and disorganized, but DJ Sway, who co-hosted with Pearl Thusi, injected life into the show. However, things took a turn for the worse when Pearl Thusi abruptly left the stage, leaving DJ Sway to carry on alone. Despite the unexpected setback, DJ Sway rose to the occasion and captivated the audience, effectively putting an end to the drama caused by Pearl Thusi.

In an exclusive interview after the YAMAs, DJ Sway revealed the behind-the-scenes chaos that unfolded during the event. He acknowledged the script editors, Phalana and Hope, who worked tirelessly to reedit the script and adapt it to a one-host format. Despite the last-minute changes, DJ Sway remained composed and focused, thanks to the support of his colleagues, such as Owen Rampha, Katlego Rakola, Tshepang Motsisi (DJ Easy), and LB.

When asked about his initial reaction to the unexpected turn of events, DJ Sway admitted to feeling saddened by how things ended. However, he credited Pearl Thusi for giving him a much-needed confidence boost during his moment of doubt. She reminded him that he was destined for greatness and that he didn’t need big stars to succeed. With her words of encouragement, DJ Sway regained his composure and approached the rest of the show with the same professionalism and charisma he displays on the radio.

To overcome the challenges he faced, DJ Sway relied on his radio skills and calm personality. He engaged with the audience as if he were speaking to a single person, pointing out individuals in the crowd to create a more intimate connection. He also expressed gratitude for his backstage team, who provided support and ensured the smooth running of the show.

DJ Sway expressed satisfaction in being seen as the saving grace of the YAMAs. He believed that he fulfilled his role as a host and brought joy to the Yarona FM board, his family, and his fans. Despite his success, DJ Sway’s journey has not been without hardships. He has experienced the loss of his mother and sister, which has left a lasting impact on him. While he continues to grieve, he seeks solace in therapy sessions and relies on his father for emotional support.

DJ Sway’s dedication to his craft and ability to overcome adversity make him a remarkable figure in the radio industry. His vibrant personality and deep knowledge of music have made him a perfect fit for Yarona FM. Despite the challenges he has faced, DJ Sway remains determined to make a positive impact and bring joy to his listeners. With his talent and resilience, there is no doubt that DJ Sway will continue to thrive in his career and leave a lasting legacy in the world of radio.


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Chef Gustos walk of shame

22nd November 2023

Chef Gustos, the renowned hitmaker, recently experienced what can only be described as a walk of shame at the 8th edition of the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs). Despite being nominated a whopping seven times, he failed to secure a single win. Ouch!

The night was filled with surprises, drama, and controversy, but the biggest winner of the evening was Han C, who walked away with three awards, including Best Pop and Best Male Single for his hit song, “Sebinki.” Han C graciously announced that he would be donating P10,000 from his winnings to his fellow nominees, promoting a spirit of togetherness among artists. What a noble gesture!

Meanwhile, Chef Gustos found himself on the losing end of several categories, including People’s Choice Artist of the Year, which he had won in the past. He seemed unfazed by the loss, stating, “People know that ‘Away’ was big, but they won’t stop me.” It’s clear that Chef Gustos is determined to continue making music, regardless of the awards he receives.

However, he did express his frustration with the outcome, suggesting that the awards may be corrupt. He declined to comment further, citing the need to protect his brand and maintain good relationships with corporate clients. It’s understandable that he wants to avoid any potential damage to his future prospects.

In fact, Chef Gustos went so far as to request that Yarona FM not nominate him for future YAMAs. It seems he wants to distance himself from the disappointment and focus on his music without the pressure of awards. Perhaps this decision will allow him to create freely and without the burden of expectations.

While Chef Gustos may have experienced a walk of shame at the YAMAs, it’s important to remember that awards do not define an artist’s talent or success. His fans still appreciate his music, and he continues to have gigs with corporate clients. So, despite the disappointment, Chef Gustos remains optimistic about his future in the industry.

In the end, the YAMAs may have been a letdown for Chef Gustos, but he’s determined to keep moving forward. He won’t let a lack of awards dampen his spirits or hinder his creativity. And who knows, maybe next time he’ll come back stronger and prove that he’s deserving of recognition. After all, the true measure of an artist’s success lies in the hearts of their fans, not in shiny trophies.


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