Nkosi Johnson Doodle Honoree. Born 4 February 1989.
Today’s Google Doodle honours the life and legacy of a voice of change heard by millions around the world. Nkosi Johnson Doodle honoree. Nkosi Johnson was born 4 February 1989, South Africa.
Xolani Nkosi was born HIV-positive in Johannesburg, South Africa, on this day in 1989.
A public relations officer named Gail Johnson soon adopted Nkosi from an AIDS care centre with his mother’s blessing. Together, Gail and Nkosi began their historic fight against the autoimmune disease.
Xolani Nkosi courageously campaigned for the equal rights of children with AIDS.
FACT: Did you know that the statuette received by each year’s International #ChildrensPeacePrize winner is called the “Nkosi”? The statuette is named after Nkosi Johnson, the first winner of the prize, for his fight for the rights of children with HIV/Aids. #movetheworld pic.twitter.com/cN15iuSzR0
— KidsRights (@KidsRights) November 21, 2017
When it became time for Nkosi to attend school, he faced discrimination because of his infection.
In response, his foster mother organized workshops that educated the South African community about AIDS, and her efforts led Parliament to pass legislation that required schools to uphold anti-discrimination policies that protected children like Nkosi.
This landmark decision sparked Nkosi to speak publicly about what it is like to be a child with AIDS.
Audiences around the world heard his speeches, which helped destigmatize the global perspective on those affected by the disease. Together with Gail, they established Nkosi’s Haven, an NGO still active today that provides a safe home and healthcare for families affected by AIDS.
Unfortunately, Nkosi died in 2001 at the age of 12. In honour of his bravery, the KidsRight organization created the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2005. Each year the award—a “Nkosi” statuette, is —given to a young winner celebrated for promoting children’s rights.
Related: Coronavirus Outbreak