Queen Latifah delights Durban crowd ahead of HIV/Aids conference
It was impossible to miss Grammy-winner Queen Latifah in a 7000-strong sea of neon green T-shirts bearing the word “promise” as she walked the streets of Durban on Saturday in support of the fight against HIV/Aids.
Like her T-shirt proclaimed, Latifah, who arrived in Durban on Saturday, kept her word and joined marchers from the city’s Drive Inn to its CBD as part of non-profit organisation Aids Health Foundation’s “Keep the Promise 2016” march and concert.
The event came ahead of the 21st International Aids Conference which starts on Monday. The Hollywood star, best known for her roles in Set it Off, Bringing Down the House and Chicago, wearing white jeans paired with black and grey camo takkies posed for selfies and photographs with her fellow marchers at the front of the rally.
Latifah, who was shadowed by a bodyguard, broke away from her group - which included eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo, MEC for health Sibongiseni Dhlomo and Gail Johnson, mother of late child Aids activist Nkosi Johnson - to pose for a picture with a woman in a wheelchair, Monica Cele.
Cele, who has brittle bone disease, said she was delighted when Latifah posed with her.
“I am just a woman from Durban who wanted to be part of this march because I support the cause,” said Cele.
About 3km into the march, organisers ushered Latifah into a car, which moved alongside marchers, near Kingsmead Stadium as the crowd grew bigger.
Keep the Promise, also known as KT2016, is a call-to-action advocacy campaign to governments and international funding bodies to increase Aids funding and their commitment to end the epidemic. Some of the march participants carried flags from around the world, while some held placards scribbled with slogans such as “Test and Treat Now”, “HIV is preventable” and “Stop Aids!”
Latifah and Oscar-winning rapper Common, who didn’t join the march, later performed along with Mi Casa, Big Nuz and B Flow at Kingsmead Stadium.