Celebrities joined thousands as they took to the streets to march in city of Durban in solidarity to keep the promise!
US singer and actress Queen Latifah joined a mass anti-Aids march in the South African city of Durban on Saturday, where grandmothers bringing up children orphaned by the disease also took to the streets.
Holding up signs that read ‘I care, do you?’, about 12 thousand people from all walks of life marched in a colourful procession to draw attention to their plight, as the coastal city readies to host a global Aids conference from Monday.
“Life is very difficult for us grandmothers,” said 63-year-old Thandiswa Ndovela from the Eastern Cape region, who lost two daughters to Aids and is now caring for eight grandchildren.
“I have to fend for all these children and no one is helping me out. I felt a strong need to come here and share my plight with other elderly women like me from all over South Africa.”
They were joined by Queen Latifah, Common, J-Something, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Mpho Maboi, Brent Lindeque and the South African health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi.
The march moved onto the Sahara stadium where the concert also took place, this time bringing many young people onto the streets of Durban.
American rapper and actor Common and actress Queen Latifah, were the headline acts wowing the crowd alongside South African megastars Big Nuz and Micasa. Charlize Theron, Prince Harry of Wales, and Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau in the Netherlands were also at the event.
South Africa is ready to host the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban next week. The conference which starts on International Mandela Day on Monday returns to Durban after 16 years.
More than 10 000 delegates from 180 countries are expected to attend the five-day conference held under the theme “Access Equity Rights – Now”.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council, will lead the South African delegation.
The 21st International AIDS Conference will give South Africa a chance to highlight and share lessons with the international community on how it has implemented the largest anti-retroviral programme in the world.
It is estimated that 6.8 million people are living with HIV in SA, 3.4 million of them are on HIV treatment.
With the conference coinciding with Mandela Day, South Africa’s message to the world will be linked to his call: “It is in our hands, to achieve an HIV free generation in our lifetime.”