Karabo Moroka failed to be an ambassador for HIV-Aids

ACCORDING to the grapevine, Connie Ferguson is leaving Generations, taking her alter ego Karabo Moroka along with her.

It couldn't have come at a better time. In the 16 years of her life on the small screen, she's kissed too many frogs.

Think of any leading man who's ever been on the soapie - all of them leave with a smirk on their faces after having groped this femme fatale.

I wouldn't be surprised to find many of them have regaled their drinking buddies with tales of her sweet lips and other salacious fringe benefits of having acted alongside her.

Every single one of the characters - from those before Glen Majozi, Tau Mogale, Sbusiso Dlomo, Paul Mashaba to greenhorn Lungile Mabena - have tasted Karabo's forbidden fruit.

You know how the saying goes: Those that the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. As those Down Under would say, Karabo is at present not of the full quid; she's seeing things. My guess is that the gods of soapie-land - the scriptwriters - have run out of ideas for her character.

I will not weep for Karabo because she's failed to be a good ambassador for HIV-Aids, currently the biggest social responsibility honours a popular media cult figure can carry.

They wrote men in and out of her life with the everyday ease of changing socks. Women think the world of Karabo, make no mistake. Women don't just buy the sunglasses Ferguson endorses, the cosmetics range that carries her name or the insurance scheme she sells. They will not think twice about bed-hopping too.

Now the problem with this liberal sexual conduct is that it feeds the monster that gave us these unwelcome stats: An estimated 5,7million people were living with HIV and Aids in South Africa in 2009 - more than in any other country.

A good book, What is Left Unsaid, Reporting the South African HIV Epidemic, has fought its place on to my bedside table.

I read the chapter Sex, Soaps and HIV with thoughts of Karabo in my head, especially "the phenomenon of having two or more partners, who often overlap, is termed multiple and concurrent partnerships (MCP)".

The chapter explains that "it is important to note that concurrency is different to having multiple partners, as the latter may be concurrent but could 'also be sequential and monogamous'".

Based on the number of episodes I've watched of Generations since the idea entered Mfundi Vundla's cranium, I can, with some authority, place Karabo snugly in the latter group.

I've never watched an episode where she was in between affairs - single and (not) looking. She's always been with a man.

My book says "a quick flick through the channels on any given evening seems to suggest that sex, particularly MCP, is a key ingredient in the soap opera recipe. It seems, though, that the very real risk of HIV infection that accompanies this sexual behaviour is not reflected in these storylines".

Do you remember Karabo going for an HIV test before shacking up with and shagging a new beau?

She's better off gone. They were going to make her a slut.

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