Simphiwe Palesa Manhica, 23
My name is Simphiwe Palesa Manhica aged 23 years, I was born and raised in Swaziland. I finished my high level of education on 2014 but I never got the chance to go through to university. Finding a job has been hard ever since I finished school but I used to work at some mobile money shop for a few months and I learnt a few things about working with people.
Simphiwe is a serious but fun person to be, hence I am a volunteer at Baylor Children’s College, motivating kids to stand for themselves despite any challenge in life. Working with these kids has built my confidence to proudly say to anyone anywhere that I am HIV positive and to me, it is a blessing in disguise and no-one can tell me otherwise or put me down because I am proud. I have experienced stigma and discrimination but for me that was a stepping stone. I also love dancing and I joined a group called Pelepele Dance Academy and we have toured around Europe in 2016 and Nigeria in 2018 through dancing. I also love beading, any bead I can use to make some jewellery. I want to be a motivational speaker because I love talking a lot. Currently I am in a group of young advocates that wants to go all over Swaziland motivating people on positive living and mostly what HIV is because they do not know much about it and we have taken that initiative to be the first young group to bring change.