Body map 09

CCAC #: 0375
Artwork title: Body map 09
Artist(s): Thozama Mkhosi
Year made: 2002
Artwork type: Paper
Medium: Digital inkjet print on paper
Framed dimensions (in mm): 950 x 610
Artwork series: Long Life Project Body Maps
Source: Bought by the Artworks Committee from David Krut
Year acquired: 2004
Installation type: Movable artwork
Location area: On public display

When Nomonde discovered she was HIV positive, she was seven months pregnant. She contracted the virus from her previous boyfriend and was unsure of how to inform her new husband that she might have exposed him to the virus. The scars on her body map reflect the marks that were left when she fought her stepfather when he tried to rape her.

Thozama Ndevu's statement

There is no more friendship between my stepfather and me. He wrote a letter to my teachers at school. It said I must leave school because he is not going to pay for my school fees because I have got a boyfriend now. I asked my boyfriend for money. He gave me money because he was working.

One day I went to my boyfriend to sleep with him and my stepfather hit me and stabbed me with a screwdriver. He stabbed me here on my left wrist you can see on my body map. One night he came to my bed and said, ‘Come here I want to make you strong.’

My boyfriend said I could stay with him. He was working in security. There was no other place for me to go. Before a long time I had a fight with him because he had twelve girlfriends. Always changing, changing, changing. Every time I see him with another girl.

After I left him, I met the one I am married to now. I was 20.

When I was pregnant I found out I am HIV positive. I knew all about HIV a long time, but I didn’t think here in South Africa there would be people who have HIV. I thought people from overseas would have it.

When I left the clinic I didn’t tell anyone. No one, and no one since then. No one knows. Only I know, and the counsellor, and all of you. I’m not happy. I would like to tell someone but I go to tell and then I’m afraid to. I haven’t told my mother but I’m thinking about telling her. I tried to tell my husband but he said, ‘If you go, when you come back you mustn’t tell me, because I can’t sleep with someone who is positive.’

I think I got the virus before my husband met me because my first boyfriend is very thin now. And my husband, he refuses to use a condom. This is very hard for me to know I am giving him the virus.

Themes: HIV/AIDS
Constitutional links: Health care, food, water and social security rights (section 27)
Related Constitutional Court cases: Minister of Health and Others v Treatment Action Campaign and Others (2002)

CCAC 429040

Photographer: Unrecorded
Photo copyright: Consult with CCT curatorial team

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NOTE: The process of photographing artworks in the CCAC is underway - we are currently working to improve image quality and display on the CMS but have included internal reference photos for identification purposes in the interim.