Remembering Zambian TB and HIV advocate, Winstone Zulu

The tombstone of the Late Winstone Zulu, a Zambian HIV and tuberculosis activist, was unveiled in Zambia last week. Winstone passed away in October 2011.

The Vice-Chairperson of 
Zambia's National AIDS Council Board read this speech at the unveiling:

“As we commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day, which falls on 1st December 2012, people living with HIV, activists, CSO representatives and some government leaders across the world remember the late Winstone Zulu, one of the great fallen heroes in the fight against HIV and AIDS who passed away on 10the October 2011.

Though physically challenged, Winston was a man who did not want others to do things for him but preferred to do things for others which indeed made him a very rare individual. He was the first Zambian to openly declare his HIV positive status as far back as 1989 and was an inspiration to many locally and abroad where he encouraged many people to know their status if they were to live healthy lives.

He was also a great TB champion, advocate, and torchbearer who was instrumental in mobilizing resources for the fight against HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis globally. His exploits took him afar and wide across different continents where he lobbied world leaders and parliamentarians, urging them to invest in new research for tuberculosis and affordable treatment of HIV/AIDS.

His work earned Zambia recognition in the fight against HIV/AIDS and TB and helped the country earn its rightful place in the fight against both diseases among all the global players.  At the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok in 1994, Winston sat on a stage next to Nelson Madiba Mandela and spoke to delegates about the urgent need to invest in new research for tuberculosis, a disease both of them had survived. When Madiba took to the stage to speak, he turned to Winstone and thanked him for his tireless activism in fighting for the affordable treatment of HIV/AIDS and TB.

Internationally, Winston worked with organizations such as RESULTS in the USA and Japan and the Stephen Lewis Foundation of Canada and because of the relationship, he built with these organizations, some CSOs still continue to benefit from his hard work.

Finally as we remember Winstone today,  I would like to dedicate these few words to his legacy “Though much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are ---One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”