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  A 'Queer' Shoulder of Strength: Remembering Prudence Mabele


[Posted on 11 July 2017]

Durban Pride and the Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre mourn the fall of a giant with a gentle soul and an infectious smile, Prudence Mabele, a true comrade.

The Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre (LGBTI Centre) held a moment of silence, and a prayer for someone the Centre's Director and Advocacy Officer, Nonhlanhla Mkhize referred to as 'queer' shoulder of strength'.

"Whether homosexual or heterosexual, bisexual and however you identified yourself, she understood that the right to access health care and medicine was for all women and her love and commitment therefore to our advancement became the story of her life." said Mkhize.

A number of staff and volunteers associated with the LGBTI Centre have been themselves members of and/or volunteers of organisations like the AIDS Consortium, the Treatment Action Campaign through which the likes of Prudence Mabele were experienced and their contributions admired.

The LGBTI Centre hails Prudence Mabele contributions in the advancement of the rights of lesbian and gay people especially within the health sector. We hope many others will learn that one need not be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender to concern themselves with the livelihoods of others and to be there as a shoulder to lean on or to cry on.

She lived and loved, taught and defended, advanced knowledge, advocated for the rights of people living with HIV and remained true, said Mkhize during the session.

The LGBTI Centre's work with Positive Women's Network has been visibilised through initiatives with Simphiwe Gumede (within uThungulu, Zululand & Ugu Districts) and Slindile Mntambo (eThekwini).

We pray for strength for these women and many other women (especially in leadership), who have been touched and inspired by their experience of Prudence to soldier on and keep going for this journey and this fight for our emancipation is not over.

Long Live The Spirit of Prudence Nobantu Mabele Long Live!


A Durban Memorial will take place 13 July 2017, 1-4pm, Durban City Hall, Council Chambers. The contact person is Ms Silungile Mtambo (PWN) 073 196 3790.

We will gather together to remember her vibrant spirit, her courage and her leadership during the darkest days of denialism.

Please join PWN and others to honour Prudence.





PATRONS: Mr Z. Achmat (Treatment Action Campaign), Sir Elton John and David Furnish (Elton John AIDS Foundation)