April 26, 2016

Orphaned, HIV Positive And Abused, She Almost Gave Up — But Didn’t

Written by Marc Silver

This post originally appeared on NPR’s Goats and Soda.

“My cheeks are sore from smiling,” says Loyce Maturu.

The 24-year-old, who lives in Harare, Zimbabwe, is posing for a photo at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. She’s come to be interviewed about her activism. She’s a champion for people with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (she has been diagnosed with both). So really, the pain of smiling is nothing compared to what she has been through.

And she’s joking, of course, about how hard it is to pose for a photo. She even takes off her glasses because she wants to show off her eyes.

She’s had media training, she says, so she can tell her story in an “epic” way. But her story is so epic that she doesn’t need any coaching.

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