Sfiso Nkala

Community Mobiliser

I started to work formally as an employee at SECTION27 on 1 June 2013. I work as a Community Mobiliser.

When I started to work, I had a title of an NHI (National Health Insurance) Organiser.  And I had to move between provinces in order to ensure support and to monitor NHI implementation.  But the most important task was to assist Mpumalanga province and to find lessons that could be common to other provinces during the NHI build up project. During year 2015, my title changed but the duties never changed and I was called a NHI Field Reseacher.  The intention was still to ensure maximum, meaningful participation of all stakeholders in the NHI implementation. This was to be done whilst supporting and monitoring NHI implementation.

In 2016, the title changed and I inherited a title of a Community Mobiliser.  The duties never change during the changes in the title.  From year 2013 when I arrived in Mpumalanga province I had a duty to support AIDS councils.  This is a strategic duty as if it is done properly it fully ensures capacitated AIDS council sectors and functional (active) civil society.

If civil society sectors are capacitated it would mean fully functional clinic committees, proper support and monitoring of the NHI project. This would also mean a well functional NHI schools health programme as the education department and workers in general would understand their role, etc.

I grew up in a political atmosphere and have been involved in the fight for human rights and social justice all my life. I have been in the struggle since mid-1980.  Most importantly, in the year 2000, I joined the Treatment Action Campaign to ensure access to HIV treatments and justice. One of my duties was to recruit TAC members, establish TAC branches and simplify policies to the TAC membership. It was also vital to represent TAC in proper platforms. I stayed with TAC as a full time staff member for at least 10 years but am still an active member.

I did my in-service training at 202 Smith Street in Durban at Petronet as I was a Mangosuthu University student. I was a chairperson of the Jazz club in Mangosuthu and in the following year a Jazz club secretary. Through Jazz, I had a great, strong relationship with Coke and Seagram including P4 radio and Ukhozi fm. I did some teaching for two years in one of the schools in Stanger. As the professional youth we started our own organisation where TAC found me. I have also been a member of the quartet group in Groutville which is called Handsome Boys.