Farewell, Vuyani Jacobs

One of South Africa’s heroes in the great struggle for HIV treatment: a stalwart of the Treatment Action Campaign, presenter for Siyayinqoba Beat It! – and a truly lovely man.

From the Beat It! website:

Ulale ngoxolo Vuyani Jacobs

It is with great sadness that I learnt this morning that Vuyani Jacobs passed away last night after a long struggle with meningitis. Vuyani was a colleague, friend and comrade. From the early days at MSF and in Siyayinqoba Beat It and on many platforms he fought bravely for the rights of PLWHAs and for human rights broadly for many years. His political understanding and sense of the moment was invaluable in the struggle for PWA rights and access to treatment. There is so much one can say and I will write at greater length later. – Jack Lewis (director)

Vuyani tested positive for HIV early in the 1990s. Believing he didn’t have long to live, he quit his job and spent his days at home watching television. Channel hopping he came across a TV programme in which a beautiful African woman was speaking openly and without fear about her HIV positive status. That show was Beat It! and it changed Vuyani’s life. He got off the couch and went in search of information around HIV/AIDS. He became a member of the Treatment Action Campaign, started taking ARVs and eventually ended up co-presenting the 2002 season of Beat It! with Nombeko Mpongo and featuring as a regular member of the Siyayinqoba Beat It! support group until 2006.

About David

I am an environmental writer, journalist and speaker living in Cape Town, South Africa.
This entry was posted in Diary, HIV and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Farewell, Vuyani Jacobs

  1. Bettina T. Schunter says:

    he will be dearly missed…. viva vuyani! bx

  2. Did you work with him at all?

    Do you no longer have a blogroll?

  3. Lona says:

    It is wit gr8 sadness dat one of our heroes has gone may hs soul rest in peace

  4. muriel says:

    I havent been watching Siyaxoba beat it for a long time now, or if I watch it I wouldnt see it to the finish. but this Saturday 2011.03.12. I watched it till the end and was suprised and shocked when I read that the Season 5 is dedicated to the memory of Vuyani Jacobs. Even more hurt when I googled him to learn that he passed on last year. May his dear and wonderful soul rest in peace. Peace and love be upon his family always

  5. Babalwa says:

    I was not watching Beat it for a long time until this week that i heard of the loss of a brave man Vuyani, may your soul rest in peace

  6. #I have watched Vuyani Jacobs on Siyayincoba beat it on year 2005 It made me aware of the sickness as I lost a friend in Germiston to this desease, I wish he could have saw the program because there is no way u can take it light that HIV is there and how to avoid contracting it. The siyayi ncoba still plays today in 2013 on tshane TV channel thanks gives for saving lives

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