South Africa
north of Workshop Shopping Centre Gugu Dlamini Park since 8 July 2000
one name
The Gugu Dlamini Park has two points of focus: ‘The AIDS Ribbon’, a giant Red Ribbon sculpture atop a brilliantly colored mosaic mound where children play, and the ‘Wall of Hope‘, a more intimate space dedicated to the memory of Gugu Dlamini.
The AIDS Ribbon sculpture was unveiled by Deputy President Jacob Zuma on 8 July 2000, one day before the start of the 13th International Aids Conference in Durban, in memory of those South Africans who had lost the battle against the disease. He said he wanted the memorial to be a symbol of the struggle of the many South Africans that had and still continued to fight the disease. "I would like it to serve as a source of courage and inspiration to all those who live with the disease, to those who share their homes and lives with victims.
The ‘Wall of Hope’ was unveiled on World AIDS Day, 1 December 2000, when the former Central Park was renamed to honor Gugu Dlamini. Gugu, a small, soft-spoken woman in KwaMashu, found that the silence surrounding AIDS made the suffering worse, lonelier, and more hopeless. After Deputy President Thabo Mbeki had called for people to "break the silence about AIDS" in order to defeat the epidemic, she joined the National Association of People with AIDS and announced to the press that she was living with AIDS. Days after that press conference, several local men attacked her, harassed her, followed her home, and stoned her to death. As the dedication plaque in the park states, “She publicly revealed her HIV positive status on radio and television, as part of a campaign of Acceptance and Disclosure. Her statement was resented and she was brutally assaulted by a mob, resulting in her death on 14 December 1998”.
The mosaic around the Red Ribbon was designed by Clive van den Berg. Initiated by Rooksana Omar, director of the KwaMuhle Local History Museum, the ‘Wall of Hope’ was designed by artists Jeremy Wafer and Georgia Sarkin. The Gugu Dlamini Park is located next to the Workshop Shopping Centre in the heart of downtown Durban. Foto © PriorityZone

AIDS Foundation South Africa