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Outlook Inspiration 2018 celebrates local unsung heroine’s achievements

Outlook Inspiration 2018 celebrates local unsung heroine’s achievements

HIV activist and the youngest person to be elected mayor in the country at the age of 26, Livey Van Wyk, is among one of the three people chosen for the Outlook Inspirations Awards for 2018.

The awards celebrate unsung heroes from across the globe who are ordinary people with extraordinary stories.

Livey’s achievements are extraordinary because just a few years before she was elected Mayor in 2010, the towns people of Witvlei had made it clear that she was not welcome there because of her HIV status.

Livey was diagnosed HIV positive soon after discovering she was pregnant and after treatment to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child, her son was born HIV negative, which gave her the hope and will to progress and champion in her community.

Van Wyk chose to speak out about her diagnosis and the stigma of HIV and in the end she won over her community and many beyond who repaid her and elected her as their leader.

Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English congratulated all three who have been named as the Outlook Inspiration because their stories show tremendous courage and resilience in the face of adversity and they have each made a real impact in the lives of others in their communities and beyond.

“Outlook remains one of the most loved programmes on the BBC World Service and we are delighted to bring back these Awards for a second time, allowing us to celebrate the achievements of unsung heroes from across the globe,” she said.

According to Hockaday 20 people were nominated who are doing remarkable things and have overcome enormous obstacles to achieve extraordinary things while breaking taboos and challenging stereotypes. Furthermore the nominees also were choosen on their efforts to improve the lives of others.

The nominees, Hockaday said, were chosen from individuals who have been on Outlook and others were nominated by listeners.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.