Foreword to Clouds move
"Eleanor Roosevelt described character by saying that people grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This understanding of how character is built became part of my family's personal experience through my nephew Derrick's brave approach to his sexual orientation and, in particular, his living with HIV.
We all learn through experience, but it is those unique individuals who make it their life's work to share their deep-felt personal challenges with others that help to shift our way of thinking.
As a family, we fondly remember my late sister, Moyra, who was married to the late Azriel (Issy) Fine. With other close friends, Issy helped me start Pick n Pay and served on our Board for many years. Because we are such a close-knit family, we all know just how difficult it was for Derrick to 'come out' and to disclose living with HIV. We applauded his honesty and self-respect.
It is only through confronting truth that we are able to face the future with confidence, respect and understanding. And it is Derrick, and people like him, who inspire us daily to do the right thing. As a corporate citizen, Pick n Pay believes that doing good and direct community involvement are an integral part of who we are. We were one of the first companies in South Africa to introduce free ARVs for our employees and to invest in HIV education, mentoring and treatment, together with supporting many HIV/AIDS projects around the country.
There can be few South Africans who have not been personally affected by HIV in some way. As Derrick's uncle, I have a particular and personal interest in HIV/AIDS and therefore felt no hesitation in being publicly tested for the Sunday Times 'Know your status: each one reach five' campaign.
But sadly, overcoming prejudice, ignorance and rejection remains the daily experience of so many South Africans. There should be no stigma associated with sexual orientation or living with HIV, nor is there room in our constitutional democracy for the discrimination that still pervades our society.
I commend the work of The Openly Positive Trust, and salute Derrick and all people living openly with HIV. These are South Africans who have the courage of their convictions, the strength of character to stand up for what is right and the willingness to share their experiences with all who care."
Chairman of Pick n Pay and Derrick's uncle