15 June 2012, 1.15pm
By Nicola Beech
Annie Lennox, singer, songwriter, campaigner and activist, took to the stage in a packed out auditorium to close this year’s annual conference. She was here to share the story of how she got involved in the campaign to help draw attention to the HIV AIDS pandemic, especially focusing on the country of South Africa, where women and children are worst affected.
The journey started in 2003 when she took part in Nelson Mandela’s 46664 HIV campaign concert. She talked about the impact this had on her and how she came to realise that things can change. She said it was her “a-ha” moment, that she felt inspired to contribute, to give a voice to women who don’t have a voice.
She asked us to raise our hands if we knew that one in three pregnant women in South Africa are HIV positive. Only a handful of the audience put their hand up. And yet we should know this – and that’s why the campaign is so important.
But she said she wasn’t here to talk about her campaign. She was here to inspire us all to be agents of change, to really look into ourselves and to see what motivates us to get involved so that we can all make a difference.