Centre for Communication Impact mourns the death of Prudence Nobantu Mabele. We remember her unwavering support for our programmes ZAZI and Brothers For Life and her selfless contribution to the global HIV response, which began when she became the first South African woman to disclose her HIV status in 1992.
Ms Mabele or Pru as she was known was a vocal, vivacious, stylishly elegant, fearless pioneer who took her fight for human rights, treatment and justice for people living with HIV and LGBTI from boardrooms to the streets and to the highest offices in the land and globally. She was the founder and Executive Director of the Positive Women's Network (PWN), a founding member of the
Treatment Action Campaign and a founding member of the Pan African Positive Women's Network.
Yvette Raphael of CCI is an activist and close friend who spent a lot of time with Pru, in boardrooms with government or on the streets in protest action on HIV describes her as a comrade, a mother, a sister and people's champion.
"We in the HIV community thought she would outlive us all, she had so much energy and life. I can't even begin to tell you how powerful she was and how much she's done in terms of getting government and donors to treat HIV as an emergency. I will miss her smile ,her courage and her sense of style'"
Prudence was passionate about young women and girls and saw them as the next generation deserving of so much more than the previous had been afforded. At the 2012 International AIDS
Conference she led an inspiring, provocative and heartfelt "Stop the war against women's bodies" campaign against the rape and sexual violation of young women and girls. Closer to home, she took the campaign to the women's jail at Constitution Hill, and continued her tireless fight for women and girls.
Her legacy lives on through the many women empowered by the Positive Women's Network which aimed to improve the quality of life of women living with HIV by providing a support network and platform. She led at the frontlines and was often sighted/seen with placard in hand tirelessly advocating for a better society free of gender inequality and better quality of life for people living with HIV.
Ms Mabele collaborated with the ZAZI campaign inspiring a new generation of women activists by contributing to the design of messaging and ensuring PWN staffers were trained on the use toolkit. She remained closely associated with the campaign and advocated for funding for its continued implementation.
More recently Ms Mabele was appointed the President for the Society of Women Living with HIV and the Deputy Chair of the Civil Society Forum in the South African National AIDS Council. Ms Mabele was a familiar face in regional and global spaces always putting the rights of African women living with HIV on the agenda.
May her soul rest in Peace.
Siyabonga Mbokhodo. Lala ngoxolo.
Details of the memorial services and Funeral:
Sunday 16th July: 1pm to 5pm Main memorial service. Venue to be confirmed
Wednesday 18th July: Funeral service at Rhema Church in Randburg.
Wednesday 18th July mid morning. Our beloved icon will then be laid to rest at the West Park Cemetery