Winstone Zulu, the first Zambian to go public on his HIV positive status, has died

Winstone zulu

Celebrated HIV/AIDS activist, Winstone zulu has died. Family friend and fellow HIV/AIDS activist, Gezepi Chakulunta has confirmed the death of Mr Zulu to Muvi TV news.

Mr Zulu, who is arguably the first person to have come in public to reveal his positive HIV status, died in the early hours of today at the UTH.

Winstone Zulu was born in 1964 in Lusaka, Zambia, the sixth of thirteen children. After being diagnosed with HIV in 1990, he became the first individual in Zambia to publicly acknowledge his HIV status. In 1997, he contracted TB and, with access to effective medicines and treatment, was cured of the disease within that same year.

During his life, tragically, he has watched four of his brothers die from TB as a result of a lack of access to the anti-TB drugs that would have cured them and extended their lives.

These experiences made Winstone one of the preeminent global advocates on the dangers posed by the increasing spread of TB. As one of the few African activists involved in the global health movement on AIDS from its earliest stages, he was able to recognize the threat that TB poses on the modest successes of HIV/AIDS control.

Nelson Mandela said of Winstone, “There have been so few TB survivors who have stepped forward to share their stories. We need more advocates like Winstone to tell the world about TB and the effect it has on so many millions of people.”

“TB treatment gives patients more time. If my brothers had survived TB they might have lived long enough to access HIV drugs like me. They shouldn’t have died.” Winstone Zulu said at the time.

Speaking at numerous international conferences and events, Winstone sounded the alarm on the links between HIV/AIDS and TB and advocates for increased financial resources and improved programs to combat TB and TB-HIV.

Winstone’s experiences and actions make him a leader in TB advocacy and spoke volumes to the social attention and political will that could be generated by just one individual using his voice.

Mr Zulu is also noted as one of the pioneers of the establishment of Kara counseling.

Meanwhile, Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign Country Coordinator, Felix Mwanza has described Mr Zulu’s death as a great loss.

110 Comments

  1. 2 flag Italian Bunga Bunga (Original)

    RIP. Shame he didn`t live to see the Action Man change things.

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    1. 2.1 flag The truth

      Do you always have to bring politics into things?

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  2. 5 flag Nine Chale

    Sad report. May he rest in peace.

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  3. 6 flag Nubian Princess

    This is a pioneering Zambian. A health center should be established in his name.

    Go well my brother.

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  4. 7 flag Infidels Baghdad Zulu

    May his soul rest in peace. A great community leader he was.

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  5. 8 flag Don Lee

    Rest in peace my brother.

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  6. 9 flag Bob

    He adhered to ART and managed to live this far. MHSRIP

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  7. 10 flag Charms

    MHSRIP.Go well great leader.

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  8. 11 flag people

    Early knowing of one’s HIV status and adhering to treatment prolongs life.RIP

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  9. 14 flag CHINJONGO

    We are all awaiting for this! My condolences to his family as they are mourning their beloved father and husband, etc.

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  10. 16 flag Constitutional lawyer

    Rest in peace. Remembering u old munali days.

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  11. 17 flag The Patriot

    MHSRIP. One of the few very courageous and inspirational Zambians

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  12. 18 flag Mushota

    Zambian men must remember that Illict sex or fornicating behind yur partner’s back you will often be exposed and unfortunately not live your fulness life

    We all know exposing one’s manhood results to catching Aids, veneral diseases and the whole lot

    RIP Sir

    I hope these brainless, Illict cheating men on here learns somehow. Thanks

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    1. 18.1 flag UKO

      Ba Mushota, I thought this man did not create AIDS but acquired it from illict women!!! Any way RIP Mr Zulu.

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    2. 18.2 flag exposing one's manhood

      or womanhood

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    3. 18.3 flag Shaka

      Why don’t you write like the educated person you profess to be? Your grammar and spellings leave a lot to be desired. Maybe, just maybe your emotions take over when you start typing. Leave us proud Zambian men alone. After-all you have publicly disowned your country of birth.   

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    4. 18.4 flag Kaumba

      @Mushota: Every man who cheats does so with a woman! Women should share the credit for promiscuity aswell. **==

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    5. 18.5 flag Don Corleone

      Mushota,you always seem to create problems for everyone when you type your opinions.One thing I like about you,you dont care what others think or say about you.But one thing,type properly and think before you type.I hope siumabema vyamba kubazuku sisi.Good night!!!

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  13. 19 flag AnAppealToCommonSense

    You’ve given us hope, rest in peace.

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  14. 20 flag THE SAINT

    Fair thee well my friend. Sadly you opposed mandatory testing at presentation in hospital. For Zambia to overcome this scourge, every person who goes to hospital must know his status. If we can put 80% of those with HIV and CD4< 500 and abnormal CD4:CD8 ratio, we will be well on the way to stopping the disease. With recent rapid TB test, this should also be included. Zambian doctors should stop treating TB as malaria, and then community acquired pneumonia and then TB by exclusion. 

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  15. 21 flag Kijo

    This Mushota thing always has misplaced comments…we are not talking about mens conduct here. We are paasing our condolences of a patriot who shared his experience with AIDS/HIV and TB and if you have other advice please ka Mushota keep them to yourself.
    It takes 2 to tangle so why should you accuse men of bad behaviour……uku tumpa weka puba iwe ka Mushota

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    1. 21.1 flag Comments Only When Necessary

      you ignorant Kijo, the saying is “it takes 2 to Tango, not tangle” the Tango is a latino dance which requires 2 people for there to be harmony. Get your “sayings” right if you’re going to quote them ala! silly person! RIP Winston!

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    2. 21.2 flag blablabl

      Kijo please ignore “Comments only where necessary’. He comment was definitly unnecessary as you are quite right in using the phrase “It takes two to TANGLE”. Where as the origins of the phrase is indeed from the Italian dance “Tango” which involves two people dancing intimately, the phrase has evolved to be used in circumstances where to people engage in an activity that can not take place without both of them e.g sexual intercourse. So in this context the more modern and widely used version ‘Takes two to tangle’ was just as appropriate as using ‘TANGO’. I hope you will find my comment necessary…. hope we wont have to tangle or is it tango about this!!

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  16. 22 flag Bwalya mulenga bulaya musonda leshina

    Mushota you are true.

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    1. 22.1 flag muso

      Bwalya how true is Mushota. You pipo u shud know where and when to post such comments. the comment is quite okay but posted on a wrong topic. shameeeeeeeeeeeee

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  17. 23 flag Mwiponta Mukabwela

    U will be deeply missed mr zulu, u greatly advocated for funds to combat TB and HIV/AIDS in our country from donors allover the globe and you will be remembered forever. U are such a source of inspiration and hope to many zambians living with HIV/AIDS. Rest in peace

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  18. 24 flag Mwiponta Mukabwela

    Ka mushota u are just exposing your ignorance on HIV/AIDs issues.Not only people get it through unfaithfulness to their partiners, u can also get it through sharing things like razors , niddles etc. So ka mushota take your misplaced misconception away from here and STOP insulting zambian men like that coz you also came from a zambian man mind you.

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  19. 25 flag Jay Jay

    Winstone Zulu was brave enough to come out when it was taboo to even talk about AIDS….MHSRIP!!

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  20. 26 flag The truth

    Mushota my dear, there are times you just have to restain yourself from making annoying contravecial comment. This moment is such. While others are laying their condolocenses to a true hero, you are busy attacking Zambian men. It takes two to tangle my dear, you can also catch it from your so called white husband you fo@l. respect yourself

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  21. 27 flag Observer

    AWE KAMUSHOTA KENA KAPUBA, ANY WAY I ALWAYS MISS YOU MWAICHE.

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  22. 28 flag Dorothy chungu

    people why do you even bother responding to Mushota? I have heard whispers that “she” is actually RB’s son masquerading as a SHE to avoid capture.

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  23. 29 flag Muku Ndausi

    MHSRIP. Fot the fight. Inspired and gave hope 2 many. Wil b mist and remembered. Mushota is an uninformed hypocrit and an agent of stigma. Loud for nothing prick.Stigma kills.

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  24. 30 flag coertez 1

    But what actually killed him? Is it the HIV/AIDS or the poisonous ARV drugs he was taking? Do ARVs actually prolong life or its just the placebo effect? How do you separate the effect of good nutrition from the effect of ARVs on an HIV positive person who has been taking ARVs and has been on good nutrition?

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    1. 30.1 flag AnAppealToCommonSense

      Awe, don’t be foolish. I even know someone who is not eating well, but he went from looking like a skeleton, unable to walk, to being healthy and able to dance, from the ARV’s. There is enough research out there to show that any antiretroviral drugs that are approved by the World Health Organization and other organizations have far more than a placebo effect. It is not just good nutrition, otherwise, how would healthy people that eat well get so sick? The studies control for other variables such as good nutrition and the placebo effect. I’m surprised you don’t know this.

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  25. 31 flag j

    Pantu mulaka napa fililo let Mushota alone why too much fault findings ba mambala imwe?

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  26. 32 flag truthhurts

    Too bad for winstone zulu. Thanks for standing up and being a man and inspiring many by creating awareness on the perils and dangers of AIDS. As for Mushota, as true as what you say is, you obviously seem to have time and place issues. Now’s not the time or the place for those comments true as they may be. The problem we have in zambia is we live very unchristian lives while pretending to be so upright and pious. Most of us are in denial of the reality that is AIDS . put your hands up if you have had a relative who died from HIV. it is real and that is the lesson our dear departed brother winstone tried to teach. BANE TULEUMFWA!

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  27. 33 flag Zambi-Can

    We ule we st.upid i.d.iot kamushota. RIP winston

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  28. 34 flag Nshi Sunda Chisunde Sunde Kano Fye Mu Muntu

    Gone too soon and too young …..Winstone!!
    You helped reduce the stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS
    We need to emulate your examples and courage to make the world a better place for all
    They say that “ if you are not infected by HIV/AIDS you are affected in many ways by it”
    MYSRIP

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  29. 35 flag chongo wa tundusa

    RIP gallant son of Zambia

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    1. 35.1 flag chatushalila

      He was reaally a gallant,Chongo.
      We should continue fighting for the rights of the PLWA.

      MHSRIP.

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  30. 36 flag Barbed Wire

    Winstone ‘Mulepele’ Zulu, we have you in our hearts, those of us who were with you at Munali boys remember you so very well, and we cherish what you have achieved in the area of HIV and TB. RIP

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  31. 37 flag Uncle P

    RIP Winstone. Oh and to every blogger here dont you know that you make Mushota’s day by commenting on her post. She seeks attention because she is lonely and posting such messages really makes her day. If you have noticed she doesnt even responds. She enjoys reading what you are saying about her: good or bad. If you ignor her, she will just fade out like an old chitenge material. My first and last time to talk about her/him…

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    1. 37.1 flag Ba Maureen

      You are 100% right ! Ignore the ka b***tch

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    2. 37.2 flag walasa

      Those that respond to her look stupid for sure. When you answer a ****, u end up looking a **** as well.

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  32. 38 flag DR OBATALA

    Let the remaining HIV + leaders in government come out in public we know them!! RIP.

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  33. 39 flag Mukurite

    Commenting on coartZ (30) we so easily accept death even of HIV positive people this is very bad. We need to ask what went wrong with Mr Zulu, HIV with ARVs becomes a chronic manageable illness and one should not just die like that; maybe he needed 3rd line drugs etc where are you advocates lets save our heroes. On Mushota, yes sound the warning so that as pipo’s emotions are high, hammer the message so that it sinks, too late for winston but you can save a life of someone else. Condolences to Wniston I remember he came to my school and taught us HIV even b4 i went to med school.

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  34. 40 flag Mrs. PCM Shepande

    R.I,P Mr. Winstone Zulu. You supported Occupational Health Sector by giving talks to Work place HIV/AIDS prevention Strategy when I ran such institutions in Zambia. I am not able to attend your funeral, but I mourn you here in Japan. with all zambians out there.
    Rest in God’s comforting arms.

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  35. 42 flag Dinda Dinda

    Kuli malilo Ku Kaunda Square. Lost case for the physically challenged also! Rest in Eternal peace & Let God be Glorified even in your passing on. You shall be sadly be missed and remembered for generations

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  36. 43 flag The observer

    May the lord take of you will miss u

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  37. 44 flag Chengelo

    MHRIP May God Almighty grant his family divine consolation during this difficult times.

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  38. 45 flag musekwa

    MAY HIS SAUL REST IN PEACE I KNEW ZULU IN EARLY 90s WITH LATE CHITU AT KARA COUNSELLING UNDER Fr MICHAEL KELLY

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  39. 46 flag ka'Doyo

    Very sad news indeed. My condolences to family and friends! I hope the TB and HIV drugs will be readily available and free to everyone soon. MHSRIP!

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  40. 47 flag lisa

     ba fi colour lets use condoms

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  41. 48 flag Go Deeper

    Mushota you are a gold digger and you like attention too much typical of prostitutes. Whatever you say about Zambian men uwakulile ichisungu mu Zambian live nayo.

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    1. 48.1 flag philfire

      u r 100% rite

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  42. 49 flag PM

    You fought a good fight my brother. You become a great inspiration and gave hope to people living with HIV/AIDS

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  43. 50 flag Ubwato Fye

    MHSRIP, you were truly a gallant man. Because of you we dont stigmatize those who are HIV+, but we embrace them with you.

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  44. 51 flag Libya

    MHSRIP you served your community and country well.

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  45. 52 flag coertez 1

    At munali secondary school he was known as “mulepele”=you shall fail, because of his prowess in the debate club. He was a greatly talented man and a very nice man indeed. when someone dies we do not mourn but we celebrate his life when he was alive, Amen!

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  46. 53 flag Moddy

    Rest In Peace, you’ have been a source of inspiration to all of us.

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  47. 54 flag Maljo

    MHSRIP, You inspired many, I remember you when u addresses us that time.

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  48. 55 flag Njobvu Kazi

    Very sad, may his soul rest in peace. At least he had the courage to tell the whole world his story which most of us wouldn’t because of shame. 

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  49. 56 flag Buti Zo ona

    I remember when i heard of him I was so young then i couldnt believe it that someone had come out in the open about being positive…He inspired many MHSRIP

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  50. 57 flag Kweshoni Mark??

    # 25 My exact thoughts and those of us who met him will remember a very cheerful person who gave hope to others living with HIV.

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  51. 58 flag Njobvu Kazi

    MHSRIP…such a courageous person, most of us even now would never come admit to the whole world that we are positive instead we continue to infect others. We need more people like him 

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  52. 59 flag Na Judah

    I am sorry to hear about Winston’s death my condolences to his family on the untimely loss

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  53. 60 flag Kamukati

    I will miss you my friend. You inspired me and I will always remember your words when I gave you a lift from Old Street to your hotel in Euston. I only wish you could hear me now. You have left a vacuum in the TB-HIV advocacy work that is filled with stigma, blame, ignorance and fear. To me you were a true champion despite being physically disabled. You were special and talented. RIP

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  54. 61 flag Pretty

    Rest in Peace. You made a courageous move by confessing your status. Helped a lot of people step forward and live a shameless life. I believe you fulfilled your mission on earth.

    May you soul rest in pace.

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  55. 62 flag UK-Zed Observer

    Was a brave man. Made a difference to Zambia. Thanks.

    Mushota, you are brave as well.
    We are enjoying our freedom to express ourselves, no matter how mad or insane you sound. Free speech and democratic right. This is good. We would not trade that with what they have in some places like China and Middle east.

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  56. 63 flag muku

    RIP father and husband.. you contributions will never be forgotten

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  57. 64 flag mulipa banda

    #18 ka Mushota ndiwe galu opanda muchila

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  58. 65 flag MaparAIDucator

    One very great man and personal friend.
    Brave to the core and stood up for many silent ones.
    He helped us set up programmes in Botswana in the early 1990s when the population 
    was in denial.
    May his soul rest in peace.
    “Robala ka kagiso tsala!”=d>

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  59. 66 flag Mwana Mbumu

    My heart felt condolances MHSRIP

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  60. 67 flag Mwansa Katunga

    Its sad that Winston has answered the Lords call at this time. However, his done his work and what remains is that we who are living to take each work that Winston said to ACT on it and ensure that we live health without fear. We encourage each other and help those who need help. we need to secure that participation of each and every individual is 100% and then we have the Government and others to come in and help.
    God Bless you all for the support and we shall pray for his Soul. MHSRIP

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  61. 68 flag Lady Kim

    I have always admired the courage of this man.Thinking about being HIV positive is one thing and testing positive and coming out in the open is another thing.I was very young when this man cam out in the open about his HIV status and I remember me and my sisters making fun of him saying he was just lying that he was HIV positive becoz he never used to look sick.Back then an HIV positive was only known to be thin.Thanks to ART people can live long.Long enough to even see their children grow up into teenagers.
    MHSRIEP.

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  62. 69 flag Lady Kim

    I have always admired the courage of this man.Thinking about being HIV positive is one thing and testing positive and coming out in the open is another thing.I was very young when this man cam out in the open about his HIV status and I remember me and my sisters making fun of him saying he was just lying that he was HIV positive becoz he never used to look sick.Back then an HIV positive person was only known to be thin.Thanks to ART people can live long.Long enough to even see their children grow up into teenagers.
    MHSRIEP.

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  63. 70 flag Mwansa Katunga

    On behalf of all International Candlelight Memorial National and Community coordinators. I want to say let us all continue the fight we started and let the footprints of Mr. Zulu Winston be a corner stone in all of us. we continue the fight, encourage each other, giving HOPE of living health, no discrimination, stigma, let all people have access to treatment and other related health services. God Bless you all as we mourn our Brother by:
    Mwansa Katunga – National Coordinator – Candlelight Memorial- Zambia

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  64. 71 flag Logika

    How about a ‘Winstone Zulu Centre of Excellency or Memorial Clinic’? MHSRIP.

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  65. 73 flag kaluba

    Mushota uliche leave MUSHOTA alone abaume nibamundetelela MAPOLO NIYAMUKAZI UMOZI NOT 10 Men fyatilani mapoolo.Mwebaume sungeni utukala twenu.This is the result weather we criticize MUSHOTA she is just being objective.Ok nachibipa but MHSRIP 

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  66. 74 flag Zedian

    This guy has contributed to saving lives from HIV infections through his advocacy. He fought against stigmatization by confronting it with the declaration of his positive status. I wonder how many Zambians both living with and without the HIV have come out so strongly and fought the scourge in the manner Mr. Zulu did. For me, the man deserves to be honored for his efforts. For sure, he is a national hero!

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  67. 75 flag Veni, Vidi, Vici

    RIP. May your courage touch many cowards who do not want to know there statuses.

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  68. 76 flag Bob Marley

    Great Men don’t die, thier Spirit lives on. R.I.P
    SORRY, MUSHOTA, “HOLIER THAN THOU” SEES THINGS DIFFERRENTLY. :((

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  69. 77 flag sight seeing

    This disease is like dont kubeba one only knows that he/she is effected after getting tested.May
    the cure be found.

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  70. 78 flag Distant Drums

    May the Lord give solace to his grieving family and friends.

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  71. 79 flag SILITI

    RIP. @ mUSHOTA WE NT TALKIN ABOUT ILICIT SEX, BUT THE PASSIN ON OF MR. W. ZULU. I AM A LADY BT MIND U PROSTITUTES LIKE U AR THERE TO BRIN AIDS TO MEN WAUMFWA WE ULE WEE MUSHOTA

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  72. 80 flag mutale

    RIP, Mr Zulu
    I remeber him giving a speech about HIV awareness wen i was at Roma girls in 1992, he was a brave man and will be missed by all.

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  73. 82 flag Copper bullet

    RIP Mr. Zulu i’m sure you’ve touched a lot of lives and have helped in the education of our youth of unprotected sex

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  74. 83 flag masi

    My deepest sympathy to the bereaved family

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  75. 85 flag Don Corleone

    You were a role model.You loved and cared for us all that was why you came out in the open and talked about your HIV/AIDS status.WE’LL MISS YOU,DEAR.REST IN PEACE.

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  76. 86 flag Friend

    Rest now Mr Zulu. You did your work and your message was received. We need proper drugs in Zambia, we need to treat curable diseases and keep Zambians healthy. We ALL have HIV. We all have it, only in some people it turns positive. AIDS is like cancer, some people get some people don’t. Hundreds of Thousands of people in Europe and America suffer from cancer, it is so common now that it looked on like a normal illness. But in Africa TB, Malaria and diarrhoa are labelled AIDS

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  77. 87 flag Friend

    Gone too soon Mr Zulu God Bless your family, your wife and children

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  78. 88 flag Maestro Hhehhehhehhe 20HH

    Condolences to his family and may his soul rest in peace.
    _
    Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God.
    I kept my promise to UPND on voting for them

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  79. 89 flag Cadre

    RIP peace Winstone Zulu. Will miss your contributions. Mushota ulichibwa(Dog)

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  80. 91 flag Bana Kateka

    RIP, my brother. You gave hope to all of us, whether infected or affected.

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  81. 92 flag RED SQUARE

    Mr.W.Zulu deserves to be remembered.He withstood all the mocking and jeering from the kaponyas of Lusaka as they nicknamed him ‘Imbila yabulanda’.Infact he outlived most the critics.
    THE FACT IS EACH DAY TAKES US CLOSER TO THE GRAVE.
    ARE YOU READY TO MEET YOUR SAVIOUR?

    MAY HIS SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE .

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  82. 93 flag Ndine

    He will be greatly missed. Many of us are either infected or affected. TB can be cured if one adheres to treatment. HIV or no HIV all of us are bound to die but whats important is that we live positively for the betterment of society. MHSRIP

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  83. 94 flag mailesi

    Dear Winston, so inspiring even in death. However, the pain is unbearable! We shall miss you dearly and our prayer is that you are now with the Lord. It now remains with us to lead responsible lives so that on that day, we will be able to give an account according to scripture. Sleep in peace dear one.

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