Beautiful, sweet, sad story of a mother Daphne putting her child before herself, another woman Gail strong and selfless, and a little, brave boy Nkosi that will live in my heart from this day forward The story of these real life people is woven within daunting statistics of the HIV AIDS outbreak in Africa I am so bad at remembering names, but I will not forget these incredible people.
Enlightening book on South Africa AIDS crisis and wonderful story of a very brave boy, Nkosi This whole book could have been one magazine article It dragged, and repeated, and dragged some Stick to TV Mr Wooten But kudos on reminding us of a great true story.
Sometimes you read a book that shakes you to your core and makes you look at life a little differently We Are All The Same was one of those books for me It follows, mainly the life story of Nkosi Johnson and his adopted mother Gail Johnson Nkosi and myself were both born in 1989 into very different worlds During this time, South Africa was in a whirlwind of change and progress after the efforts of Nelson Mandela but was stricken with the rapid, and life threatening effects of HIV AIDS Nkosi was born to an impoverished family and was already HIV positive He was taken in and adopted by Gail who s passion for helping HIV infected people lead her to open a safe shelter for them in Johannsenburg Nkosi became the HIV AIDs community s biggest advocate putting a face on the virus and standing up for those affected Courage truly doesnt have a pure form then of this young child The book comes to a climax when Nkosi is chosen to speak at the AIDs world conference in 2000 Delivering a monumental, moving speech in which he stated We are all the same, we are not different from one another We belong to one family We love, we laugh, we hurt, we cry Dont be afraid of us We Are All The Same I highly recommend this short read and amazing tribute to this brave young man.
Why was it so hard to read I think I came to the book out of respect for Nkosi Johnson and his dignified suffering, but that isn t the sort of emotion that makes for a literary attachment I already knew the basic outline of the story, and I remembered the era fairly well, including South African President Mbeki s maddening refusal to acknowledge the realities of HIV transmission and treatment in his country And of course, I knew the ending, and I was afraid of it, as I am afraid of most sad things So in a sense, I knew too much, and there just was not much to glean from the short life of a sickly little boy Wooten s effort is workmanlike, but I am glad to have finished it all the same.
As someone who lived in South Africa during the time around which this story was set, I noticed a couple of inaccurate statements about South Africa, but otherwise this was a very touching and thought provoking story about how compassion can supersede race and class differences.