I love to share positive stories of positive women, women who keep pushing forward no matter what life throws at them.
I came across this amazing lady when she share a lovely post on nigerian musician Banky W, helping her when she was down on her luck 8 years ago. She was six months pregnant, had been abandoned by her child's father, lost her house , her job to top it all was diagnosed HIV positive. Wow could life get any worse?
I was intrigued with her story and I loved the way she wrote. It flowed like one of the voices in my head plus I think her smile is warm. So I googled her to find out more and I was impressed I quickly followed her on instagram because her feed is full of inspiration and positivity. You really should follow her here.
But her instagram feed ,warm smile and the fact she has my kind of sense of humor (Yes, I found that out by trawling her instagram feed) is not the only reason she is my featured woman. It is the way she turned despair to positivity and is an advocate for women living with HIV. Her project The LOLO Project, provides young women living with HIV with skills and jobs in areas of the media usually dominated by men.
I have also fallen in love with the way she writes. I love that she shares her life story, her trials, her deepest secrets , her childhood abuse and I love that I can find myself in her voice.
I share a piece that she did on hernetwork.co for World AIDS Day 2016 titled All the times I died It was so beautiful it moved me to tears.
The first time I was 13, maybe 14. It had been on a holiday visit to an uncle. My grand uncle to be precise; my grandmother’s brother. A priest. Barely had we arrived at his house and settled in before he began his sexual advances towards me. Over the course of two weeks he would sexually abuse me repeatedly at night, punishing me with insults and food deprivation in the morning if I resisted, and rewarding me with treats if I complied. By the time I had arrived home I was dead; in the way a talking, moving breathing person can die. I was dead for 15 years where I barely talked to anyone about it but engaged in promiscuous behavior and exhibited intense rage because of it. 15 years.
The other time that I distinctly felt like I had died was when I received the email from MTV terminating my appointment. Interestingly enough, a few months before that, when I was 10 weeks pregnant, I had been informed that I was HIV positive. But I did not die then; I was even comforting my doctor.
Now that was a funny story......
Read the rest here
To find out more about Mary & The LOLO Project, and get involved please visit www.theloloproject.org. You can also read more of her life with HIV on www.asitwasnotinthebeginning.wordpress.com and women’s issue on www.thelongerfword.wordpress.com.