Sinikithemba Choir

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Yesterday at work I got the following e-mail:

The MGH will host the Sinikithemba Choir from KwaZulu-Natal South Africa from 1-2 PM, Monday November 29, in the Wang Lobby, in recognition of World AIDS Day. This group of HIV infected persons from an AIDS support group in Durban, has been supported by health care providers from MGH, and bring a message of hope for those living with HIV/AIDS. They will perform traditional Zulu Music and sell their own Zulu beadwork, which comes from an income generating program they have developed to assist others living in poverty and dealing with the challenges of this infection. Dr. Slavin recently visited the Choir in South Africa, and has invited them to share their message of hope with the MGH community.

So, after lunch, I headed around the corner from the cafeteria into a crowded lobby where I could barely see the group dressed in yellow robes, already singing. But it didn’t matter that I couldn’t see them — their sound was big enough, causing casual passers-by to stop and make the room more crowded. Not knowing Zulu, I didn’t understand the words — some of them included the clicking syllables that don’t even exist in my language. But the director, a short energetic bald man, explained their message of hope to us in English between songs. Sinikithemba means “Place of Hope,” and while they may all be infected with a disease that has no cure, they sing in order to inspire others and raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa.
I was extremely moved by this group of HIV positive singers, who live in a world so different from mine. And so when the concert was over, I forked over some money and bought their CD, the proceeds of which go to their hospital in South Africa. You can buy a handful of their songs here.

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