Stories: South Africa

  • Lesotho taxi drivers help lead fight against HIV

    Maseru, Lesotho - Tsitso Mokale drives down Moshoeshoe Road in his black taxi with a yellow stripe, scanning the pavement for potential passengers. The taxi driver in Lesotho's capital, Maseru, is on a mission not just to find new customers, but to start a conversation about the benefits of male circumcision and HIV prevention. It is a daunting task...

  • South Africa Sets Up Program to Break the Link between HIV/AIDS and Violence

    Miranda was four months pregnant and extremely anxious when she got her first HIV test. She had long been afraid of a positive diagnosis, and shortly after stepping into a tent offering free HIV tests at a taxi stand in central Johannesburg, her fear was confirmed. Miranda—who asked to use a pseudonym to protect her safety and privacy...

  • South Africa’s plan to tackle HIV among sex workers

    Johannesburg, South Africa - In the shadow of an underpass, wearing a black bob wig, Tlaleng paces along her patch of Nugget Street, scanning the downtown Johannesburg traffic. Behind her, other women lead clients behind the crumbling walls of a gutted building in the brisk morning light. But Tlaleng, a boiled egg in one palm, is distracted, her eyes roaming...

  • A New Bridge in Johannesburg Reveals How Little South Africa has Changed

    It’s a 15-minute drive from the Ferrari-lined streets of Johannesburg’s Sandton suburb to Alexandra, one of South Africa’s poorest townships. But for 56-year-old cleaner Mooko Dikotla and thousands of others who commute by foot from Alexandra to what’s known as “the richest square mile in Africa,” the four-mile trek over...

  • A working journalist abroad: lessons from using a ‘fixer’ in South Africa

    "So nice to meet you, can you tell me about your toilet?" It's not a question that people are expecting when they meet a journalist. Yet it's one that I found myself asking over and over again on my reporting trip in South Africa. Toilets I learned are funny, most people laughed as they showed me where they...

  • ‘It’s not safe’: South Africans fear using public toilets after woman murdered

    * Warning: Some details in this story are disturbing.* In Khayelitsha, a township just outside Cape Town, South Africa, community activists amping up their efforts to get safe, private toilets after a 19-year-old woman was murdered on her way to a public bathroom. It's a story that is told in the documentary, When She Didn't Come Back, in which...

  • There’s a Message for City Planners in Cape Town Plumbing Poll

    A mother and father stand in the doorway of their Khayelitsha home, looking on as their two young children goof around on the small patch of dirt outside. It’s something like a front yard, only that — flanked on one side by the family’s corrugated tin shack and on the other by a public portable toilet...

  • Condom Couture and Other Ways to Fight AIDS With Art

    After 20 years of doing “condom couture,” Adriana Bertini knows she can make a dress out of old condoms in about 50 hours. But after years of carting bags packed with condom collectibles – including a wedding dress made from 80,000 sheaths – around the world, the Brazilian designer never knows how long it will take to get through the airport. ...

  • Pregnant and Diagnosed with HIV: The Group Providing Support for Mothers

    Thirteen years ago, when Babalwa Mbono was eight months pregnant with her second child, she went to her clinic in Cape Town, South Africa, to have a routine HIV test. “I went with confidence because my first child was negative and I was negative then,” she says. When the test came back positive, Mbono couldn’t...

  • Fighting the Scourge of Xenophobia in South Africa

    It is death by a thousand cuts – the small injustices that add up, one after another. It’s the cruel nurse, the rude admitting staff, the names called out of a passing car. For the thousands of African refugees living in South Africa, it’s a fact of life. It’s hard to describe South...