Onalethata Mpebe, a 34-year-old call centre agent and proud mother from Serowe, is rarely seen without her charming, friendly smile. “I am a happy soul, ever smiling and positive about my life and the future.” She went public with her HIV status three days before her 33rd birthday in October, and continues to use social media to share uplifting stories and teach her audience through quizzes and polls. Onalethata is the founder and leader of Positive Moments, an organization she designed which provides a place where young people of all backgrounds can feel safe talking openly about their lives and where their voices are heard.
Recently, she gleaned wisdom from her new friend, Ms. Criselda Kananda, a South African radio host and HIV activist who inspires her to be the best she can be and help people living with HIV. As a young woman living with HIV, Onalethata helps many young people to find the courage to test for HIV and begin living a positive lifestyle. She says, “I have been able to reach many youth by spending time together. I show them how beautiful and meaningful their lives are, then they start to see a brighter future and begin to shine their own lights.”