Nawanyaga Gloria: HIV advocate we never knew we needed

Arguably one of the most well known HIV advocates of our time, Nawanyaga Gloria. The price? Well, as revealed at Y+summit that took place recently at the Hotel Africana on 18th, March, there are a lot of things in her music.

For starters, her name sparks well for a lot of people. Some like her work, absolutely they do love her. People can’t get enough of her music and HIV messages

I have always loved her music. It’s catchy, educative, fun to play, and there are some lyrics I could relate to. However, I always made sure to separate the musician from the music. Why? Because as a young advocate who had friends die from HIV/AIDS, Gloria’s music is the hope for everyone

Having spent two years advocating for HIV free society and the virus that has nearly cost most of the young people’s lives in Uganda, there are certain “tell-tale signs” that we can pick out from a mile away.

Gloria Performing live at Y+summit

And I always had an uneasiness in my heart that this young HIV advocate was struggling from some sort of stigma and discrimination in the community and it is still sad people are still stigmatizing people living with HIV but she is absolutely doing well through the music band, and continuing fighting the injustices against the marginalized

Her music highlights the incredibly impactful message in a candidly honest. The courage it took to open up about such painful part of her story, people living with HIV still carries a gross stigma in society at large because of misunderstanding and stereotypes but Gloria is the advocate we never knew we needed is this fight

Looking at the trends in Africa especially in the pearl of Africa, AIDS is one of the leading causes of death amongst adolescents and young people and of course, the government of Uganda is demonstrating remarkable success in the fight against HIV/AIDS by achieving a dramatic reduction in the HIV prevalence rate from 30%, the 1980s to 6.1%, 2016 according to Uganda Population-Based HIV impact assessment 2016 report

The Y+summit gathered Advocates, Civil Society Organisations, Lawyers, entrepreneurs, feminists, religious leaders and government officials shared lessons and best practices for effectively addressing HIV/SRHR challenges faced by young people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in Uganda including gender inequalities that drive HIV related stigma and discrimination

There’s an urgent need for a combination of HIV prevention interventions, supportive environment and strengthening community systems as well as targeted approaches to effectively address the unique needs of young people in their diversities

There is something in her music that truly resonated with so many young people. There are strength, power, hope and ownership of self that only comes through overcoming the darkness. So Gloria, thank you for sharing your talent with the world

Truth hurts but it is better sooner rather than later. Play it safe, AIDS kills

Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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