I am alive and kicking - Bala
FORMER 3Sum band member Koyo Bala, who recently disclosed his HIV status, says coming out cost him many friends.
He says so many people in the entertainment industry, especially gays, want him to die because he is stealing their shine.
The colourful gay socialite, who was one of the guests at a Beyonce Record party held at Fire and Ice in Melrose Arch on Thursday, says one of the people who abandoned him is his former bandmate Amstel Maboa.
Maboa was lead singer of the popular gay pop group. He went solo last year after fellow band member Jeff Moyo died. Bala said what hurts him most is that Moboa is "telling people that he is bedridden and dying".
"When people think that you are dying they do all sort of things. It is painful when someone who used to be close to you goes around spreading vicious rumours about you. I have bad news for him. I'm alive and kicking.
"Yes, I am HIV positive but it is not the end of the world."
Bala says Maboa is doing this to boost his solo career but people want both of them. The cracks between the two former friends started showing last year when Maboa recorded a solo album and offered to do gigs as an individual each time promoters wanted to book the group.
Last year Maboa told Sowetan that he made it clear to Bala that he wanted to do a solo album even before Moyo died.
Efforts to get Maboa's comment drew a blank since his phone was off and he did not respond to messages.
Bala also says when he came out some people confronted him and said he had infected them. "Some of them I did not know from a bar of soap. Some said I had infected their boyfriends. Others threatened to go to the media."
He says he has forgiven the man who infected him with the disease.
"He is still alive. I am not blaming him. I'm blaming myself for being careless."
Bala says having HIV is not the end of the world.
"Life goes on. I am still working. I am busy doing a reality show with Iko Mash. I am also working on a clothing label and a solo album called Walking Alone."