It’s never easy to lay yourself bare for the public to judge and one who does so is very brave.
I know one such person. A brave, beautiful soul called Angel Elga Achwanyo. And this is her ministry. And I thank her and applaud her for sharing her story with the world. I hope and pray that Angel Elga’s story may help change the life of someone out there in a similar situation.
Who is Angel Elga Achwanyo?
Ok. My name is Angel Elga. I’m 23 years old, I was born to a loving family who have taken care of me to date. But my mother died of AIDS in May 1999 when I was only 5 years old leaving me to the care of my father. I acquired with the HIV virus at birth. I am HIV positive.
How old were you when you found out?
I was about seven years old maybe eight. My father told me. But I had been swallowing the ARVs since I was 3 years old, without really knowing what I was swallowing.
And how was that like?
Ok. When I found out about my status, it was hard, really hard. I had too many questions. “Why me” was the loudest question. Why did I have to go through all this? What did I do to deserve this?
At school, when they found out my status, I was stigmatized. I felt like I was nothing. I felt like a dirty person. Like the world had ended. Many times I wanted to commit suicide actually. I suffered from depression. Because of the too many thoughts, the negative thoughts, I used to fall sick often and miss school.
I never used to like myself, but with time, I learnt to love myself and live life normally. This is my life; I have nothing to do but to accept it. I take my drugs as I am supposed to. I no longer see any reason why I should be feeling bad about myself. I changed my mindset I started to think positively. I used to fall sick. But I don’t anymore. I love myself. I know there are people in worse conditions. I am fine. And because I accepted myself, I love myself and I take better care of myself. This is the power of positive thinking!
What was your turning point, exactly? When you said enough was enough?
Being HIV+ is not an easy thing. You have to accept it in order to be able to live.
When I realized that I am not going anywhere, I’m here to stay. I then decided that I’m going to live my life normally. When God decides to take me, He will. For now, I am here. I am awesome. I am beautiful and I have a lot to offer this life.
I’ve had support from my sister and my family. I have a great support system.
I am grateful for them
You’re a Christian but was there ever a point when you were mad at God?
Yes, I have been at the point where I got so annoyed with a God that would let this happen to me, I felt that He didn’t love me. I even got to the point where I questioned His existence.
And do you still have those days… When it gets too tough?
Of course I still have those days, in life there are so many challenges that people go though. But in the end I learn to live with it. I am strong in the Lord.
I am very blessed by this lady. Her strength, her smile(she has the biggest smile), and her resilience for life.