Nomcebo "Gugu" Nkosi

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. I grew up in Soweto one of the biggest vibrant townships in South Africa. I have five children- full house as you can see. I guess we can have a band! I love music. I play a piano, my husband plays a flute - my eldest daughter, Nkuli plays a guitar, Zenzi plays a saxophone and a guitar, Simphiwe plays a flute and my youngest, Gcinile chooses to dance. My other son, Zukile is still thinking about joining the band later or maybe not! With a full house like mine, I try to steal some time every other day to go to the Athens Community Centre to work out – I need that no doubt!

I have a Masters in Migration Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. As an intern at Jesuit Refugee Service and the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in Johannesburg, I worked with refugee children and women from war torn regions of Africa; Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Somalia. The advocacy work I was involved in sparked my interest in researching health and women issues. My research focus was on influences of xenophobia in accessing health care for refugees and asylum seekers in Johannesburg. My interest in health issues made me even more curious to study the management of HIV/AIDS with the Medical University of South Africa. It was after my completion of this program that I was involved in trainings on home-based care and reproductive rights for people who live with HIV/AIDS in different communities in South Africa. As a human rights activist, I was involved in human rights campaigns at Amnesty International as Campaigns Coordinator. I have always liked working with communities particularly marginalized ones. Occasionally I volunteer to assist women in whatever work they are doing in the Kilvert Community Center here in Athens Ohio.

I am interested in health communication campaigns, specifically promoting women health and organizing for social change.