Sheila Tlou tells Fiona Fleck about the innovative approaches to the HIV epidemic she helped to develop by blending her talents as professor of nursing, civil society activist and director of a theatre company.
Q: What drew you to public health?
A: Originally I wanted to study languages, do drama and end up in Hollywood. But when I was interviewed by the Ministry of Education for a scholarship, I was told: “In Botswana we don’t eat languages, we are a developing country. We need doctors and nurses and the only scholarship available is in the health sciences”. I was so disappointed. They gave me three study options: in Uganda, Zambia or Ethiopia for public health, which I chose only because of the handsome guys on the brochure. However, a scholarship to study nursing in [the United States of] America came up and I ended up in New Orleans.