Magazine article Ebony

Princess Kasune Zulu: Zambian Educator Spreads the Word about HIV/AIDS

Magazine article Ebony

Princess Kasune Zulu: Zambian Educator Spreads the Word about HIV/AIDS

Article excerpt

WHILE in the company of Princess Kasune Zulu of Zambia, a bronze-skinned beauty wearing flowing turquoise-colored native dress, matching head wrap and a dazzling smile, you sense the presence of royalty.

The princess, who has royal lineage, is an HIV/AIDS educator who is spreading a global message of hope about the disease, despite (or because of) her own HIV-positive status. During a Chicago tour sponsored by World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization, she was eager to discuss health problems in her native country, where 1.2 million individuals have been infected with HIV/AIDS. Those are the official numbers, but in actuality, HIV/AIDS has affected many more, creating hundreds of thousands of orphaned children and many desperate women.

Princess Zulu lost a sister, a brother and both of her parents to the disease. When she decided to be tested for HIV in 1997, her doctor informed her that she would need to get permission from her husband first, which was the custom in her country. "That was the beginning of my awareness of women's issues," she says recalling her husband's reluctance to allow her and the couple's two daughters, Joy, 3, and Faith, 1 1/2 to be tested. Both girls were HIV-negative and remain so today. Princess Zulu, however, learned that she was HIV-positive. Nevertheless, she found herself surprisingly relieved. A born-again Christian, she felt that her mission in life--to educate others about the disease--had been revealed to her. Almost nonstop, she has been speaking out about the illness, even using household funds to help children with the disease in her village. …

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