because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...


Monday, December 31, 2012

Princess Kasune Zulu

Princess Kasune Zulu was sixteen-years-old when her parents both died of AIDS in their home country of Zambia. A year later, though still a student in school, Zulu began seeing older men in the effort to support her younger brothers and sisters. Within a short time, she became pregnant and agreed to marry a man more than twice her age. And at the age of twenty, having borne two babies in rapid succession, she was diagnosed as HIV positive herself. Surely, that could have been the end of a sad, sad story. Except that Princess Kasune Zulu is an in-your-face woman.

First, without her husband knowing it, she began working to increase AIDS awareness in her community, even opening a community school without financial support. Then, not feeling this was really attacking the root of the problem, she dressed up like a prostitute and began educating the truckers on the highways about the pandemic that has afflicted the lives of nearly a million Zambians and millions more throughout the world. Still unsatisfied, Zulu walked or hitchhiked to companies where she spoke with the workers about AIDS prevention. And in time, she was speaking, instead, before the Congress of the United States, taking her message to the U.S. President, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and other world leaders.

With her book, Warrior Princess, published in multiple languages and being sold around the world, Zulu is now in her mid-thirties and living -- quite successfully -- with HIV. As in-your-face as ever, she continues to  spread the word that HIV and AIDS can and must be prevented, but that part of its prevention requires addressing gender inequality, harmful cultural practices, and sexual violence wherever they rear their ugly heads. An in-your-face woman takes on her enemies as if she has no fear.

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