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The healthier lifestyle magazine for Africans

Issue 7 – Winter 2011

FREE Scan the code to see online!

Benefits changes and how they could affect you

Meeting your match

Positive Living ALSO

African news round-up The best of African cuisine


Win a digital camera


Dear Reader, In the Africa of old, if you wanted to marry you would ask a neighbour, relative or friend to check and comment upon the ‘suitability’ of the person you wanted to tie the knot with. This aimed to ensure you didn’t marry into a family of thieves, night-dancers or the ‘morally loose’. But the world has moved on, certainly for Africans living in the UK, and this sort of character referencing is now rarely an option. Interestingly, African churches appear willing to fill the gap. Many pastors now run ‘singles seminars’ - events where participants can pray for and receive God’s help in finding the ‘ideal’ partner. Judging by the number of people in attendance, these seminars (also known as ‘miracle dating’) are proving ever more popular. But, as Bunmi Arogunmati found out when he attended one, there is a lot more that they could offer prospective couples. See ‘Your Shout’ on page 3 for the full story. Also in this issue: Maureen Ndawana shares what it is like being in a relationship where each partner has a different HIV status; we discuss access to NHS treatment for asylum seekers and we interview Baby Isako about her hit stage play ‘Love is a Losing Game’. Enjoy your copy!

Terrence Higgins Trust is now accredited to deliver qualifications by City & Guilds. The ‘Award in Understanding HIV and AIDS’ can help you to improve your knowledge of HIV and AIDS and to pass that knowledge on to others. It also provides you with a formal qualification to prove that you have those skills. The qualification is at Level 2 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and will be awarded to learners on successful completion of three units. For more information please phone 020 7812 1691 or email

Issue 7 – Winter 2011 Mambo editorial team Charles Kyazze Mary Lima Fola Rogers-Saliu John Owuor Joseph Ochieng African communities mass media programme advisory group Dr Edwin Mapara Charles Kyazze Marie Tameze Asher Emetananjo MAMBO magazine is funded by, and published as part of, the Pan-London mass media programme aimed at promoting awareness of sexual health among Africans. The programme is being delivered by Terrence Higgins Trust in partnership with the following African organisations: Neovenator Community Organisation The African Eye Trust Addington Afro Ethnic Health Promotion Group (AAEGRO) Congolese Family Centre

City & Guilds certificate in HIV and AIDS

The healthier lifestyle magazine for Africans

Organisational development training

This is a free service that helps African organisations to build their capacity and management skills. For more information, please email or visit

We would like to know what you think of Mambo magazine. Any comments about the look, feel and content of the magazine would be most welcome. Please email Or leave a comment on Alternatively, you could write to: The Editor, Mambo magazine, Terrence Higgins Trust, 314-320 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP.

Information in this magazine is correct at the time of going to press. For the latest information or updated version of this publication, visit The people featured in this publication are models; unless otherwise stated, no association with any particular lifestyle or HIV status is implied. If you have any questions or comments about this resource, or would like information on the evidence used to produce it, please email

© Terrence Higgins Trust, November 2011. Code: 0134700 Registered office: 314-320 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP. Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (reg. no. 288527) and in Scotland (SC039986). Company 1778149. A company limited by guarantee.

Mambo Winter 2011

Miracle dating: Just one more thing you need to know By Bunmi Arongunmati Many African churches in the UK now deliver ‘singles seminars’ – events attended by single people who want God’s help to find ‘the right partner’. Popularly known as ‘miracle dating’, the events involve discussions around values and being faithful to one’s partner. But could pastors do more to prepare prospective couples for a happy and fulfilling life?

I had heard so much about faithbased singles events from adverts, and read testimonies of people who attended. One woman described how she received a proposal 24 hours after participating in a Lagos (Nigeria) event. Another Nigerian lady wanted God to help her find a husband within a month. And within a month, she was married. Right on schedule! The event I attended in Docklands, east London, was useful in helping participants understand what sort of values a Christian should look for in a partner. However, for me the one thing missing was any mention of sexual health. When I asked the event co-ordinator, her response


was that sexual health was ‘best left to couples’. But in this age of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), church leaders should consider covering sexual health when talking to couples. In the UK, Black Africans are disproportionately affected by HIV; although representing less than 2% of the total UK population, Black Africans account for 35% of the people living with HIV. In Africa, church leaders routinely discuss sexual health and encourage couples to go for an HIV test; our pastors here should consider doing the same. Once partners know their HIV status, they are more likely to make better decisions regarding their sexual health.

As someone who attends church regularly, I know that church leaders are in a good position to offer sexual health advice to couples. I also know that many members of the congregation lack the confidence to talk to their pastor about sexual health. If you attend, or plan to attend ‘singles seminars’, the following questions might apply:

My pastor doesn’t talk about sexual health. What can I do? If your pastor cannot or will not talk about sexual health, you can get accurate information and advice from sexual health charities. For contact details call THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 (freephone, including on most mobile networks) or the confidential ‘I Do It Right’ helpline on 0800 0967 500 (freephone).

The Bible says no sex before marriage. Why should I have an HIV test if I haven’t had sex before?

“Church leaders are in a good position to offer sexual health advice to couples.”

For more information about sexual health and HIV please visit; for information about HIV and relationships visit

There should be no reason to test a couple who have abstained (never had sex). The problem is that someone may tell you they’ve abstained but you will not know for certain whether they are telling the truth. Having an HIV test is the only way you’ll know.

What do we do if one of us tests HIV positive? Having HIV should not mean the end of your relationship. Using condoms during sex will cut the risk of passing on the virus. Secondly, HIV can be kept under control using medicines, meaning there is less risk of transmission.

If one of us has HIV, does that mean we cannot have children? Not necessarily. Nowadays, HIV drugs can reduce the amount of the virus in the body, making the person less infectious. If you and your positive partner have been using condoms for sex but now want to try for a baby, you should discuss with a medical expert about when it is safe to have unprotected sex in order to achieve pregnancy. As long as the positive partner’s viral load is undetectable there is little risk of passing HIV on. After a pregnancy is confirmed, you should discuss with the doctor about going back to using condoms. Nowadays because of modern medicine, women in the UK who have HIV nearly always give birth to babies who are HIV negative.


Sam Robin-Coker, Harrow

Mambo Winter 2011


Anybody can play matchmaker. If pastors believe they are in a position to offer couples sexual health advice, then why not? Even the Government is now calling upon parents and the church to help promote sex education.


Leaders of African churches in the UK increasingly offer services to help members of their congregation find future husbands and wives. Should they include sexual health in their guidance to dating couples?

Linda Mulenda, Camden Pastors are leaders of the flock. They should take on the role of information providers, including talking to members of the congregation about sexual health.

Kofi Amako-Agyeman, Holloway Sexual health is just as important as spiritual wellbeing. Sex is a part of life, so pastors should endeavour to talk about how a couple intending to marry can spend the rest of their lives in good sexual health.

Laura James, Camden I do not think pastors should be matchmakers. It’s not their responsibility. On the other hand, pastors are very influential. I would rather they waited until they were approached by a couple, and then deliver guidance and counselling around sexual health.

Peter Onwu, Croydon

Ade Sawyer, Surrey I wouldn’t trust our pastors with anything – certainly not in the context of relationships. I would rather have family members fix things. Secondly, if someone has to wait for somebody to talk to them about sexual health when they’re about to marry, then perhaps they don’t deserve to get married at all. They should have accessed that information long before they got into a relationship.

Pastors are there to provide spiritual and moral guidance. From a moral standpoint, nobody has a right to invade the privacy of another, and sexual issues are private. Pastors are not trained to provide sex education, and as such, may not have the skills or capacity to offer couples this service.

Mambo Winter 2011

Auntie Fola Dear Auntie Fola, I recently moved to Bromley from Newham, London. I feel isolated as I don’t feel I can talk to members of my new community about my HIV status. Also, I still attend my old clinic because the staff there are really good and know me quite well. How can I find out if there is another clinic closer to me?

The best of African cuisine

Chicken, Nigerian style by Marcy Madzikanda

Peace - Bromley Dear Peace, If you can access the internet you should know about, a website developed for people living with or affected by HIV. It includes comprehensive information designed for African people in the UK, including a directory of HIV services, so it should be your first port of call for local information. It includes a clinic locator, which you can use to find one near where you live. As you are feeling isolated right now, myHIV’s positive community forum might be a great support network while you get to know more people in Bromley. It’s friendly and welcoming and has an online community of more than 2,000 active members.

Ingredients Everything is free, but you need to register for the forum and to receive appointment reminders, medication reminders (both available by email or text message) or free personal advice from health professionals. When you register you’ll be asked for personal information, so the site can start to offer you relevant information, but you can choose whether or not to give your real name. Members’ details are kept confidential and will not be shared with other people or agencies.

For further information about where you can get support, please call THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 or First Point on 020 7160 0949. Auntie Fola can help you find a solution to your sexual health or lifestyle problem. Please write to her at: MAMBO magazine, Terrence Higgins Trust, 314-320 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP. Your letter should state the nature of the problem, your name and the area you live in.

1  kg of uncooked chicken thighs 2  large onions (red or white), chopped 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled F resh yellow (or red) scotch bonnet chili (don’t use more than half if you’re not a chili fan, or omit it completely) F resh/dried ginger (1 tsp, or to taste) S alt, to taste 2-3 teaspoons dried thyme  -3 tablespoons dried 2 curry powder A  romat, or any other seasoning e.g. paprika, turmeric etc.

Method Blend the onions and garlic (and fresh ginger and chilies, if using) without water in a blender. Add spices to the mixture and mix well. Add the chicken, making sure the pieces are well coated. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours. When ready to cook, put in a pan and do not add any water. Let the chicken steam for 15-20 minutes. Stir often to ensure it doesn’t burn. When steamed, put on a baking rack or in a pan and bake/grill to desired brownness, turning a couple of times to ensure even cooking.



Mambo Winter 2011

Becoming positive:

Recognising the signs of HIV infection Most people, when they get HIV, have a short illness within the first six weeks. Being able to recognise the symptoms (which are also known as ‘seroconversion illness’) is an important first step to getting HIV infection diagnosed in time. In the UK, an estimated three out of 10 Africans living with HIV are unaware that they have it because they have not been tested. When HIV first enters the body, it multiplies quite rapidly. In most people, the rapid growth causes one or more of the following: F ever Rash on the body Sore throat. Having two of these symptoms within six weeks of unprotected sex indicates a possibility of HIV infection; having all three means it is more likely that HIV infection has occurred and a test is strongly recommended. Other symptoms associated with HIV infection include: swollen glands, loss of appetite, weight loss, lack of sleep, headache, neck stiffness and mouth ulcers. It is important to note that many of these symptoms are the same as for the other types of viral infection such as glandular fever; only an HIV test will confirm the presence or absence of HIV. These early symptoms of HIV infection usually disappear after a couple of weeks but if that person has unprotected sex they are now very infectious and much more likely to pass the virus on. It is also important to know that someone could be infected and not show any symptoms within six weeks. When is an HIV test recommended? If you experience two or more of the three symptoms described above

and suspect you may have been exposed to HIV, please do the following:  isit a sexual health clinic V and request an HIV test as soon as possible Tell clinic staff when you last had sex without using condoms Avoid having sex until you’ve been checked out If you decide not to postpone sex, use a condom.




How frequently should we test for HIV? Sexually active Africans should test for HIV at least once a year or more often after unprotected sex. They should also test if they get any of the three symptoms of possible seroconversion illness. It’s also a good idea to test when starting a new monogamous relationship and wanting to stop using condoms within it. Nowadays HIV tests are quick, and results can sometimes be given within 20 minutes in some testing centres. To find a clinic where you can get an HIV test or to talk about any symptoms you’ve had, call THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 or the confidential helpline ‘I Do It Right’ on 0800 0967 500. Alternatively, visit or

‘Recognising the symptoms is an important first step in getting HIV infection diagnosed in time’

Mambo Winter 2011


Access to NHS for visitors and asylum seekers The rules about who can and who cannot get National Health Service (NHS) treatment are complex, and often change. Sometimes hospital officials wrongly ask patients to pay. If this happens to you, get help from THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 (freephone) or your local support agency. Who gets free NHS treatment? You will get free NHS treatment if any of the following apply:  ou have been lawfully living Y in the UK for the past 12 months before treatment You are a refugee, or an asylum seeker with a current application ongoing (including appeals) You are an asylum seeker whose claim has been refused but are currently receiving support under either Section 4 or Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 You are studying full-time in the UK on a course lasting at least six months and have a valid visa

 ou are living and working Y in the UK on a valid visa You have taken up permanent residence in the UK You are in prison, or in immigration detention.

And who may be asked to pay? You may be charged for treatment if any of the following apply: You entered the UK without proper papers or permission Your asylum claim has been refused and you are currently not receiving either Section 4 or Section 95 support You are here on a visitor visa You have overstayed any kind of visa You have a British passport but do not usually live in the UK.

If I have an STI, will I have to pay?

Will my details be passed to immigration authorities?

Tests and any treatment for most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are free on the NHS. This includes HIV tests, but you may be charged for any HIV treatment and hospital care if you do not meet the criteria for free treatment.

The NHS should treat you in confidence. If you cannot provide proof that you are an asylum seeker or living here legally, the hospital may ask to contact the Home Office to confirm that you should not pay. You can refuse permission, but the hospital may charge you as a result.

What if I cannot pay for HIV treatment? You should not be refused treatment for a life-threatening condition, or to prevent a condition from becoming life-threatening. So if you have HIV, you should be entitled to NHS treatment, regardless of your ability to pay. Anyone who is refused HIV or maternity treatment because they cannot pay should contact THT Direct (details below) or their local HIV support service immediately.

If anyone threatens to pass your details to anyone outside the NHS without your permission, contact THT Direct or your local support agency. You can get further advice on access to NHS services from THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 (freephone) and at Your-rights/immigration/


Mambo Winter 2011

when By Maureen Ndawana Six years ago Maureen Ndawana fell deeply in love with Mr ‘K’, a man she had met on a bus. At first, she didn’t have the courage to tell him that she was HIV positive. Here she describes the hope, doubts and fears that can result from being in a relationship where each partner has a different HIV status. It was my sister who helped me to discover my love for ‘K’. At the time, I was feeling quite depressed because my dad was in a coma in hospital. I also had my HIV to think about, and although I was taking medication and my viral load was undetectable, a relationship was the last thing on my mind. ‘Come on, Maureen, you can’t live your life like this – alone. You need a man! K seems a nice guy - go for it!’ said my sister. For nine months, I could not bring myself to tell K that I had HIV. I feared he would desert me, or

worse, become violent. We always used condoms for sex, but I was still worried about an accident happening. ‘What if a condom broke and he became infected? He could take me to court for deliberately infecting him,’ I thought. I knew it was time to tell him about my status when he started suggesting that we have sex without a condom. I told him he should first go for an HIV test. This was partly so we knew his status, and partly a tactic on my part to buy myself more time. We went to the clinic together - his test result was negative. On the day I told him I had HIV, he was at work. ‘I’m coming home right away,’ he said. I was a bit surprised - I had feared a much worse reaction. When he came over, he was quite sympathetic. He reassured me of his love, and said people living with HIV in this

‘For nine months,  I could not  bring myself to  tell K that I had  HIV. I feared he  would desert  me, or worse,  become violent’. Maureen Ndawana

country do get good care. As long as we practised safer sex and I continued to take my HIV medicines, he had no problem remaining in the relationship. In the six years we’ve been together, I’ve found ‘K’ to be a very warm, loving and understanding person. When my dad passed away, he gave me a shoulder to cry on. I love him so much and I know he loves me back. He’s taken me to Ghana, his home country, to meet his people. He gets along well with my kids and all of my relatives. Of course, as in any relationship, we have the occasional disagreement or quarrel, but we both know we are made for each other. Sometimes we talk casually about trying for a baby but we already have six kids between the two of us. For now at least, we are content for things to remain as they are.

Mambo Winter 2011


Things a mixed status couple should consider: Safer sex

Condoms are the most effective way of preventing the transmission of HIV. In the UK, condoms are available free of charge from African HIV organisations, sexual health clinics, family planning clinics, and occasionally from your GP. Other safer sex methods include non-penetrative sex, although this is likely to be a less satisfactory strategy in a long-term relationship


Many African women are in a relationship where the male partner is reluctant to use condoms. It is important to let him know about the consequences of having unprotected sex, as this is the most common route of HIV transmission. Talking things over may help him to understand the benefits of using condoms, as well as other safer sex methods.

HIV treatment

The risk of passing HIV onto a negative partner is significantly reduced if the positive partner is on HIV medication and the amount of virus in their body is less than 50 per cubic millilitre. A recent study conducted among couples with mixed HIV status in Kenya and Uganda found that a daily dose of a single anti-HIV drug significantly lowered the risk of passing the virus to the negative partner. Couples with mixed HIV status should therefore seek treatment for the positive partner.

Having children

Couples with mixed HIV status may be in a dilemma over whether or not to have children. HIV can be passed on via unprotected sex, which is how most Africans became infected. Also, if the woman is the positive partner, she could pass the virus to her baby either during pregnancy, at birth or through breastfeeding - although in the UK nowadays this rarely happens. A couple wishing to try for a baby should talk to their doctor, who can advise on the best course of action, including when and how to achieve a pregnancy.

Regular testing

The negative partner in a mixed status relationship should have an HIV test on a regular basis, to confirm they are still negative. How frequently they test depends upon several factors, such as the viral load of the positive partner, whether or not anti-HIV medicines are being taken and whether the couple practise safer sex. For many people, an HIV test once every year is a good idea, although some prefer to test more frequently.

For more information about relationships and HIV testing, visit uk, call THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 or the ‘I Do It Right’ helpline on 0800 0967 500. Terrence Higgins Trust runs a support group for negative partners of HIV positive people. Call THT Direct for more information about this group.


Mambo Winter 2011

Benefit chang ...and how they could affect you. The recently-introduced changes to welfare benefits are likely to affect people with disabilities, including those living with HIV. The changes are part of a broader programme to reduce government expenditure on welfare.

Key changes include:

Replacement of Incapacity Benefit (IB) with the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA): This is the main benefit paid to people who cannot work due to an illness or a disability - including HIV. In order to claim ESA, a person would need to have ‘limited capacity’ to work for physical or mental health reasons. ESA will be paid at two rates: the Support Group and the Work Related Activity Group (or WRAG).

Claimants in the WRAG are expected to seek work-related activity, such as attending job interviews or career guidance, and the ESA benefits will be terminated after 12 months. After that, claimants will be means-tested, meaning any bit of extra income will be deducted from the amount paid. For example, if the partner of a claimant is in full-time work, the whole ESA benefit could be withdrawn.

Replacement of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with Personal Independence Payment (PIP): DLA has been a means-tested benefit for disabled children and adults to cover the extra costs associated with living with a disability. The benefit has been payable to people who are in work or out of work, provided they met the eligibility criteria. Its replacement, PIP, will pay claimants based upon their ability to carry out day-to-day activities and upon how much their mobility is limited by a physical or mental condition.

Housing benefit: Housing benefit is the amount paid towards rent for those who qualify for it. The government is proposing to limit this to £400 per week. Also, claimants with a spare room stand to lose up to £11 a week, while those with two or more spare rooms will lose £20 a week. A Universal Credit (UC) will replace the Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, ESA, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. The plan is that, as earnings rise, Universal Credit will be withdrawn at a constant rate of 65p for each £1 of net earnings.

Mambo Winter 2011

nges How the changes might affect people living with HIV: Proof of eligibility: Many claimants will be assessed regularly in order to qualify for their benefits. HIV is a long term condition and people who have it may also experience sideeffects from the medication they are taking. Although a person may look fit enough to work, there can be physical and psychological problems that an assessor may miss.

The stigma effect: The fear of stigma and discrimination might impact upon the ability of a HIV-positive ESA claimant to find a job within 12 months. Withdrawing ESA after the 12-month period could put many people under more stress, with some forced to take on jobs when they’re not well.

What you can do if you are expecting a reduction in your income  uy goods when they’re on sale B (but check expiry dates)  void buying non-essential goods A or services  educe your energy bills by being R more careful about how you use gas, water, or electricity (e.g. you may insulate your windows during winter, to keep heat within the house

Win this digital camera The deadline for returning your questionnaire is 15th April 2012

As a result of reading Mambo magazine:

I know where to go for sexual health service

If your bank charges you for transactions, consider changing banks.

I am more likely to try to find out my HIV status

F or era, ital cam iz. g i d a win ur qu enter o

Yes Strongly & No Disagree disagree

I can protect my sexual health better

 internet comparison sites Use when looking for insurance or credit cards

winner s ’ e u s s i Last ebeh Nana S e. rtphoento a m s s i with h your chanc

Strongly Agree agree

I know more about sexual health than I did before

I understand better the benefits of discussing sexual health with my partner

For more information about the welfare changes and how you can prepare for them visit, creditaction. com,, or citizensadvice.


Fill in this short questionnaire and you could

 here appropriate, use public W transport instead of driving

Increased poverty: A survey conducted by the National AIDS Trust and Terrence Higgins Trust found that, between 2006 and 2009, one in six people accessing HIV treatment in the UK was living in poverty. Losing any of their welfare benefits could add to the financial pressure, with a negative impact on their health.



I know I should use a condom with someone whose HIV status I don’t know I realise how stigma affects people who have HIV Thank you. Now please write your contact details here: Name: Address: Postcode: Email: Male



I got my copy of Mambo from: GOOD LUCK! Now put your form in an envelope and mail to: The Editor, Mambo magazine, Terrence Higgins Trust, 314-320 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP. Alternatively, you can fax your form to 020 7812 1799.


Mambo Winter 2011

Barely a year after graduating from university, Baby Isako (pronounced ‘Babi’) wrote and produced ‘Love is a Losing Game’, a stage play that became an instant hit with young people in London and across England. Now, she hopes a new act will firmly establish her as an up-and-coming theatre producer with an important message for the public. She was interviewed by Mambo editor Joseph Ochieng.

MAMBO: What made you decide to go into theatre? BABY: Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve had a passion for theatre and I used to enjoy watching other young kids on TV. However, very few kids I saw on TV or on stage were Black. Reading Maya Angelou’s books – including her autobiography ‘I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing’ - helped me decide theatre was what I wanted to do. MAMBO: What was the inspiration behind your production ‘Love is a Losing Game?’ BABY: Young people rarely go to the theatre, so I decided I would do something that could draw them to the theatre. I knew of lot of things that were happening to young people around me; that got me thinking about doing something to highlight issues such as sex and sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and relationships. But I wanted to raise these issues without appearing to be forcing them on the young people.

Baby Isako

The whole play is meant to let young people know about what can go wrong in a relationship. MAMBO: How successful has the show been? BABY: It’s done extremely well. When I first wrote the show, I thought it would be a one-off, but it quickly sold out and we had to do three more shows. Earlier this year, we released ‘Love is a Losing Game Part II’, which also sold out. The fact that we’ve had to put on a series is a measure of the show’s success. MAMBO: Do you think theatre has a role in educating the people? BABY: Theatre is a reflection of life, and of what goes on in life. At a theatre, the audience pays attention to what’s happening on the stage, so for an hour or so you have this unique opportunity to pass on a message and make it sink in. A lot of young people who watched my show went away with a message that was relevant to them, and with which they could identify.

MAMBO: And what is the message behind ‘Love is a Losing Game?’

MAMBO: What’s next - any plans for a new play?

BABY: The play is about relationships and what can go wrong with them. Young people do not get enough sex education from their parents; some find themselves in an abusive relationship but are unable to do anything about it. The show portrays young couples, all university graduates, whose decision, actions and attitudes come back to affect their love life. The plot includes an incident of HIV transmission and the break-up of a relationship. There is also a pregnancy to contend with.

BABY: Yes, I’m working on a new show, called ‘Bag Ladies’. It portrays young black women who have gone through the experience of rape and skin bleaching. It is due out in February 2012. To find out more about Baby Isako’s work visit


Mambo Winter 2011


Darren Brady has been a teacher, businessman, creative consultant, mentor and community activist. With such a rich background, it seemed only natural for him to use his life coaching skills to help others achieve breakthroughs in their lives. He was interviewed by Mambo editor Joseph Ochieng. MAMBO: What is life coaching? DARREN: Life coaching is a process where a person gets to explore and investigate themselves. During coaching sessions they increase their self awareness, understand and challenge their thinking and try out new experiences, approaches and strategies in order to create fulfilment and empowerment. Simply put, it is a series of powerful conversations. MAMBO: Why did you choose life coaching as a career?

‘People who are diagnosed with HIV often take a big step back from their life to ask some big questions’

DARREN: I had been on a personal development journey of my own and had experienced the benefits. When I chose to sell a business I had developed for 15 years I sat with a blank piece of paper and thought: ‘Now what?’ I started to write down all the things I loved doing - and listening, talking and helping others came top of the list. It became clear very quickly that this was the way forward for me. MAMBO: How can life coaching help someone living with HIV? DARREN: People who are diagnosed with HIV often take a big step back from their life to ask some big questions: ‘How did this happen?’, ’What is important to me now?’, ‘How will I handle this situation?’ These questions can be a powerful opening to re-assess life and make some fundamental shifts in thinking and lifestyle.

MAMBO: In your work, what are some of the issues which people with HIV face? DARREN: Issues that often come up in coaching sessions are: starting medication, telling others about your HIV status, relationships, career, self esteem, negative thinking, feeling stuck, family matters etc. MAMBO: How is life coaching different from counselling or emotional support? DARREN: Although it often overlaps with counselling and therapy, life coaching primarily concerns itself with the questions: ‘Who do I want to be?’ and: ’Where to I want to go?’ Life-coaching involves some action, goal setting and strategies, so it’s a dynamic therapy. MAMBO: Are your services free of charge? DARREN: No. I offer my services privately and also through organisations such as Living Well - who offer subsidised coaching sessions to HIV positive people. Clients make a contribution to sessions (currently £10 per session). This can be very effective in ensuring that they are committed to the process, which always produces better results. For more information please visit:


Mambo Winter 2011

Focus on HIV testing From Autumn 2011, all clinics in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark will be offering rapid HIV testing with fast results.  The clinics will also give advice and further information on contraception, fertility and  sexual problems. A range of specialist staff  will ensure you get the help and information  you need.

From Autumn 2011, all clinics in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark will be offering rapid HIV testing with fast results. The clinics will also give advice and further information on contraception, fertility and sexual problems. A range of specialist staff will ensure you get the help and information you need. The following information may help people who are thinking of visiting a sexual health clinic in any of the three boroughs:

What can I expect from my first appointment? On your first visit you’ll be asked some questions about yourself, including your sexual health and general health. You will be given your own personal clinic number, to keep for future appointments. You may see a doctor, nurse or client support worker depending upon your needs. During the consultation, you’ll be asked further questions about your medical and sexual history. Your blood pressure and weight may also be measured.

If I am HIV positive – do  Ineed to disclose my status during the consultation?

Many clinics  now offer  free confidential

finger-prick HIV tests.

It is recommended that you tell clinic staff about your HIV status. This is so they can ensure any treatment or medication you are given is compatible with your HIV medication. In addition, doctors recommend that all women with HIV should have an annual smear

test. If you are a woman and you do not tell staff your status, they will not know how to recall you on an annual basis.

How is my confidentiality protected? Clinic staff will not tell any other people about your visit - it is up to you to tell them if you wish. This applies to everyone, including those under 16 years of age. Staff will only pass on confidential information without your permission if they need to protect you or someone else from very serious harm. They will always discuss this with you first. Clinic staff can explain more to you about confidentiality.

Do I need to make an appointment? Some of the clinics operate on an appointment basis and some are walk-in. To attend a clinic in Lambeth, first check the clinic opening hours by phoning 020 3049 4006. To attend a clinic in Southwark or Lambeth, phone the following numbers:

020 3049 7940 

The Artesian Health Centre (SE1)

020 3049 8630 

Walworth Road clinic (SE17)

020 3299 5000 

Camberwell Sexual Health Clinic (SE5)

020 3049 5858 

Streatham Hill (SW2)

020 3049 4580 

Vauxhall Riverside Clinic (SW8)

Mambo Winter 2011


Bakers in Cameroon adopt cheaper ingredient Farmers in Cameroon have come up with a solution to the ever-increasing rise in the price of imported wheat. Members of the Citizens’ Association for the Preservation of Public Interest (ACDIC) claim that adding cassava and potato powders to baking flour increases the quantity of bread products and improves their taste. ACDIC want the government to allow bakers to add 10% of cassava powder to flour used in making bread, and 30% of potato powder to flour used in making pastry, claiming that using local content will save Cameroon 100 million euros each year.

Rwanda unveils credit card-size HIV test kit

AFRICAN ROUND-UP Mozambique Games promote the AIDS message Campaigners took the AIDS message to Africa’s biggest sporting event, the 10th All Africa Games, in the capital Maputo in September. The ‘Give AIDS the Red Card’ campaign was first unveiled at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to raise awareness around HIV and safer sex. Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), brought the campaign to Maputo where nearly 5,000 athletes competed amid the beating of drums and the blowing of vuvuzelas.

A team from New York’s Columbia University have developed ‘mChip’, a credit-card sized kit that can test for multiple infections in minutes, using just a pinprick of blood. A trial conducted in Mumia Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, showed it was 95% accurate in testing for HIV and 76% accurate for syphilis. Expected to cost 60 pence, the mChip’s low cost and ease of use makes it ideal for poor rural communities.

Madagascar introduces ‘cloud’ telephony Technology company Morvito has invented a ‘cloud’based product that offers people mobile phone access without the need to own a handset. A pilot conducted in Madagascar proved the system enables someone without a phone to make and receive calls on a borrowed handset – using a login account. It costs US 20 cents to set up, compared to US$14-21 to deliver a sim card, or a US$60 plus for a handset.

SA city turns human waste into manure Authorities in Durban, South Africa, could soon turn human waste into fertiliser suitable for growing vegetables and other food crops. Its water and sanitation department’s new Urine Diverting toilets (or UDs) can separate urine from faeces so that nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus can be extracted and returned to the earth. Amid rampant famine and poor food security, UDs offer a sustainable and inexpensive alternative to conventional fertilisers.

Funded by the Pan-London HIV Prevention Programme Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England & Wales (no.288527) and in Scotland (no.SC039986).

If you’ve had sex with someone without a condom and show two or more of these symptoms within six weeks, it’s possible you’ve now got HIV. In some cases there are no symptoms, but you may still be infected. For information on HIV and HIV testing, please call the confidential I Do It Right helpline on 0800 0967 500 or

Mambo issue 7  

Issue 7 of Mambo covers miracle dating – how singles seminars hosted by pastors could help couples to protect their sexual health. We've als...