Zodwa Wabantu has hit back at questions over her HIV status, telling fans that she refuses to be bullied into revealing her status because of insensitive jokes and stereotypes around the disease.
Zodwa recently posted a video on Instagram addressing the hate head on.
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Ubutshwala bu Tshisa Egazini 😂😂😂 Abaziyo kune HIV Positive phakathi Kimi😂😂😂😂😂 Eyami okusalayo & ngiyayithanda kakhulu. I love you HIV,Happy World Aids Month. When People talk remember there are really People who are going thru this HIV & Bayanisaba Baze Bafe. Mina ngizonikhulumela Shame. Angisabi lutho emhlabeni Wenkosi👊 This is how you talk the Talk Zodwa Wabantu way🤝🏾💪🥇 Ungaphiki nami ngibizwa Ngawo wonke amagama asemhlabeni🤟🤞
Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Zodwa explained that she decided to speak out on the stigmas around the disease after constantly being told she was going to get Aids because she was promiscuous.
"I have friends who are infected by HIV/ Aids and who are constantly looked down upon. As Zodwa I stand up for the people. I have grown up being called a b*tch and a wh*re. People always make jokes about HIV and say that I sleep around and I should be HIV positive or that it will catch up with me.
"I am not the kind of person that will get sensitive and defend myself. Instead, I will fight back. It is not their right to 'out' people or force people to reveal their status. They are being bullies if they are and so I will tell them that. Your status is your business. It is yours, embrace it. Don't allow others to make a mockery of it."
Zodwa may have been criticised by some for the way she spoke about the subject so casually, but the star said she was just speaking from the heart.
"I talk about it like they speak about it in hood, like it needs to be spoken about. Who is better placed to speak about it than me? There is no people better to speak about it than me. I speak about how it is. I don't care what people say about me but I will defend the people. This is an issue that is affecting all of us."
She said what irritated her the most was people who pretended to be champions of the fight against HIV/ Aids but gossiped about other people behind closed doors.
"You can't be asking people what is wrong with them when they are sick but you have already decided in your head that they are HIV positive. People are so good about saying things behind closed doors and then come out in public and say 'Happy Aids Day'. I am not like that."