Meet Tantaswa Ndlelana.
Tantaswa is a TAC member from Gugulethu openly living with HIV. On Sunday 2nd November Tantaswa is running the 42km Soweto Marathon and she is calling for your much needed sponsorship and support!
Back in 2012 the TAC formed a famous 'bus' in the Soweto Marathon made up of over 100 people. This helped a group of runners living with HIV to sing and run to the finish line of their first ever marathon. It was a victory on many levels. After that the TAC launched a group called “Runners and Walkers for Health”, of which Tantaswa is an integral part, to promote running and walking as part of healthy living for people with HIV. This year the TAC has another group of runners living with HIV registered for the Soweto Marathon who will wear their distinctive HIV positive vests, sing as we run and hand out condoms and information about healthy living throughout the marathon.
We interviewed Tantaswa to find out about why running is so important to her:
TAC: Why do you run?
Tantaswa: I was not performing well at work and was overweight. So, running helped me to perform better. Also the work that we do at TAC sometimes it’s stressful so running helps me to de-stress.
TAC: Why are you running specifically running for TAC?
Tantaswa: I want to live a positive lifestyle. People living with HIV and Aids should not feel sorry for themselves. Even if you are living with HIV you can do anything you want. You can look good too.
TAC: If you had to motivate other runners to run for TAC in 3 sentences what would you say to them?
Tantaswa: Running is about living a positive lifestyle and taking care of yourself and your body.
TAC: What does it mean for you to run?
Tantaswa: Running is not only a white person’s sport. We can also run and it keeps you mind alert and your body strong.
TAC: If you could run with one person even if that person is not a runner, who would it be and why?
Tantaswa: Cecilia because although she eats well and watches her diet, she does not want to run or walk with me. Walking or running with me will be good for her.
TAC: How long have you been running?
Tantaswa: Since 2010. The first race I ran was a 21 KM Gun Run.
TAC: What races have you participated in?
Tantaswa: The Two Oceans Marathon, the Comrades Marathon and the Soweto marathon.
TAC: What PB time are you aiming to run?
Tantaswa: Four and a half hours.
TAC: How much money do you want to raise for TAC?
Tantaswa: R20 000
Tantaswa and the TAC team will be 'Running for our Lives'. You can sponsor Tantaswa at www.tac.org.za/donate
Background on why we are fundraising:
The Treatment Action Campaign is widely acknowledged as one of the most important civil society organisations campaigning on HIV/AIDS in the developing world. In 2006 the New York Times called the TAC “the world’s most effective AIDS group,” while the founding director of UNAIDS, Dr Peter Piot, has written that the “TAC was in my opinion the smartest activist group of all, worldwide.”
Today the TAC continues to represent users of the public healthcare system in South Africa, and to campaign and litigate on critical issues related to the quality of and access to healthcare and HIV services. The organisation currently has over 8,000 members and a network of 182 branches and provincial offices in seven of South Africa’s nine provinces. It is the only organised community monitoring the quality and continued expansion of HIV services including the ARV programme.
However despite the importance of its work it is facing major funding challenges in 2015 and beyond. Therefore in November we are embarking on a global fundraising campaign to support our work. We have decided to start this campaign by organising a fundraising run as part of the Soweto Marathon, fondly known by many of us at the “People’s Marathon”.
We need your support now more than ever!!
Save TAC, Save lives