star on mission

INFORMATION SWAP: US actress Jurnee Smollett visited the Durban University of Technology yesterday to share information with staff and students on HIV-AIDS awareness. 16/03/09. Pic. Thuli Dlamini. © Sowetan.
INFORMATION SWAP: US actress Jurnee Smollett visited the Durban University of Technology yesterday to share information with staff and students on HIV-AIDS awareness. 16/03/09. Pic. Thuli Dlamini. © Sowetan.

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

American actress Jurnee Smollett is in South Africa to share information on HIV-Aids awareness as part of an international exchange programme with the US state department.

Yesterday she was a guest of honour at the Durban University of Technology.

Smollet, who campaigned extensively for President Barack Obama, met with staff and students involved in HIV-Aids peer education projects.

Speaking to Sowetan, Smollett said while this was not her first visit to the country, it would be memorable as she would be networking with youth on HIV awareness.

"This trip is so fulfilling because I get to meet and exchange information with so many young people. HIV-Aids is a complex issue but there are so many common issues that allow us to learn from each other."

She also spoke fondly of the culture of KwaZulu-Natal and its "beautiful people". She will also visit Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Smollett most recently starred in The Great Debaters, alongside Denzel Washington.

Produced by TV star Oprah Winfrey, the film depicts the true story of Melvin B Tolson, a black professor at Wiley College in the Jim Crow South, who inspired four students to form the school's first debating team, becoming the first African-American university to break the country's colour barrier.

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