Radio host and social activist Criselda Kananda has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Zululand.
The motivational speaker and author received a doctorate of philosophy in social work for her immense contribution to efforts to alleviate the plight of those living with HIV/Aids, and the struggle against gender-based violence and the abuse of human rights in South Africa.
Taking to social media on Monday, the seasoned broadcaster shared the exciting news with her followers, writing: “Today is Dr Criselda Kananda Day.
“This is so humbling and gratifying for me. As a broadcaster, I made a choice to give hope and instill positive values using my personal experiences and life lessons.
“When one finally drops the pin or stops writing ✍️ often there’s not much to show, and for such a reputable institution (University of Zululand) with a proud history of producing leaders in different spheres of society.”
She continued: “Since its inception, great leaders, professionals and business people have passed through their academic conveyor belt. I’m just at a loss of words that I was chosen and honoured for serving humanity. It was never easy but so worth it.”
The former Metro FM presenter has been actively involved in the fight for the rights of people who are living with HIV.
Kananda, who has been living with HIV for 22 years, recently opened up about her deteriorating health, which forced her to start taking ARVs (antiretrovirals).
In a lengthy Instagram post, Kananda spoke about the health challenges associated with the global Covid-19 pandemic.
In her post, shared on World Aids Day, she wrote: “This year for the first time was the hardest.
“In the 22 years of living healthily with HIV, I could have never anticipated that I’d have my heart broken, and the feeling of betrayal would lead me to a weak immune system, post-traumatic disorder, ICU hospitalisation, and for prevention of possible exposure to the coronavirus, I made the decision to start ARVs,” she pointed out.
She urged South Africans to test for HIV and those living with the illness to take good care of their health.
“The biggest lie continues to be that ARVs alone make living with HIV easier. As for me, a well-balanced life of a healthy mind, body and soul, including taking prescribed medicines consistently, makes living with HIV infection bearable.” -IOL