Ever since the country of Malawi hit the iceberg of HIV/AIDS, people have been asking, "What shall we do?"
... I'm not sure if I have HIV/AIDS. What shall I do?
... I have just contracted HIV/AIDS. What shall I do?
... My friend has HIV/AIDS. What shall I do?
Titani, a Chichewa word, literally means, "What shall I do?" It's a question asked when a decisive crossroads is reached with no apparent solution in sight. The question behind the Titani programme is, "Does life matter anymore? To God? To others? To self?" Through its programme Titani, TWR seeks, with Malawians, to find answers to the question.
A Christian poet1 mused the following words,
AIDS and death are not one. An HIV positive person breathes while a corpse does not. Every person, whether HIV positive or not will die since death is universal. Death should therefore not only be associated with those infected with the virus that causes AIDS.
This is part of a hope-poem which is aired during the Titani programme. Its message - don't give up on yourself or on other people living with HIV/AIDS.
Also included in the programme is a community song performed by a group of youth from the Ndi Zotheka Youth Club, which literally translated means, It is Possible. These brave young people have openly disclosed their HIV positive status, and their song has a message - despite having HIV you have just as much potential to contribute to society as you had before you contracted the disease!
One person who has embraced this message is Kasabola Makawa. He has been listening to Titani since 2007, and has appeared on the show several times since 2008. He is a member of the Mlodza Community Based Organisation (CBO) and has openly disclosed his HIV positive status. The organisation does community outreach, including running a nursery school. They grow maize, and sell it to make money in order to support their outreach activities.
We interviewed Kasabola and asked him for his thoughts on Titani. His response was exciting:
"A lot of things have happened ever since I personally started taking part in Titani in October 2008. We receive a lot of visitors who come to see what we are doing after hearing about us on the programme. In addition, the programme enables us to connect with different support groups across Malawi. We also have friends who consistently listen to the programme and after the airing of every edition they call us and commend the programme. There are a lot of organisations that we have come to know through Titani and they include the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Bridge Project. Currently we are working on an HIV/AIDS project with the Bridge Project. "
Our Titani producer, Madalitso, who interviewed Kasabola was very impressed with what they're doing despite their lack of resources. She had this to say:
"They are not folding their arms awaiting aid. Instead they know that they can make a difference in their lives by starting with the little they have. To demonstrate their goodwill they have chosen to give despite their lack."
Pray for Titani. Pray that more and more HIV positive Malawians can be encouraged to not give up and to live on purpose for God's purposes.
1. Henrick Ngwenya
Published: 06 September 2010