Nota Baloyi Pearl Thusi

Pearl Thusi just slammed Nota Baloyi. Image via Twitter @PearlThusi

‘My dad was always sick’: Pearl Thusi reveals parents had HIV

Pearl Thusi has opened up about how she found out her parents were HIV positive, also discussing the stigma around the virus.

Nota Baloyi Pearl Thusi

Pearl Thusi just slammed Nota Baloyi. Image via Twitter @PearlThusi

Media personality Pearl Thusi opened up about a very personal part of her life that her fans did not know about during her sit-down with rapper-turned-podcaster L-Tido on Wednesday 14 December.

During her interview on the L-Tido Podcast on YouTube, the actress and presenter revealed that both her late parents lived with HIV.

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Although reluctant at first, Pearl Thusi shared that her mother — a nurse — passed when she was a teenager, in 2004, and her father, Bhekizizwe Thusi, died in 2020. Her father was a taxi boss and driver at the time and she said she never understood why her mother was with him.

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Speaking about her other’s passing, she said: “When my mother died, one of her best friends had come to the house. She had hidden money. I ended up using that money to buy her an outfit for when she was in the casket, and I remember they walked into the living room.

“It crossed my mind that she was dead, but you never imagine that your mother can die. I just didn’t imagine that. I just remember uSis Lindiwe saying usesishiyile (she has left us), and you think of all the possible things that could mean at that moment. Me and my sisters just lost it and everyone telling us not to cry.

“I got really close to her in those few weeks. I was in grade 10. I was still Miss SA Teen first princess, and I was doing my homework until really late and we’d have conversations. I would ask her why she dated dad,” the Fistful of Vengeance actress said.

The mom-of-two explained that it wasn’t until much later that she found out that her mother had contracted something from her father.

“My mother was a professional nurse and even trained other nurses at the time. She was HIV positive, and my dad was always getting sick. At the time, the stigma attached to HIV was really wild,” she explained.

Pearl Thusi. Image via @pearlthusi/Instagram


Pearl Thusi also explained that when her mother died, she thought that she had died from having gallstones.

“My mom had gallstones. For her to have died from that was very suspicious but I guess her being HIV positive didn’t really help.”

While her father lived for almost 20 years after her mother’s passing, she says he survived meningitis three times.

“My dad had meningitis, maybe three times and he survived, which is insane on its own,” she added.

Explaining why she has never opened up about her parents’ HIV status, Pearl Thusi said: “I would have never brought this up if my dad was still alive. As much as it’s importantto talk about HIV and the stigma and us having progressed, I wouldn’t want people to look at my parents and just think of that. So yet at the same time it’s important to hail those people as heroes.”

The radio and TV presenter also urged dvised parents to be more open their children.

“Times have changed. It’s a lot easier for children to deal with the idea and the consequences of you being HIV positive and also, and we need to make the conversation flow more easily with respect and understanding. There needs to be conversation and information being shared.”