Zenthu lives in a shack where she sleeps in the same room as her father and adult older brothers. She says that they are often drunk and sometimes there is no food for the family in the evenings.
The moment I ask her about her mother she bursts into tears, sobbing and sobbing.
Her mother gave birth to her baby sister two years ago, but months later still looked pregnant.
Despite the presence of other adults in the household, the care for both the new baby and her dying mother fell to Zenthu, then just 12 years old.
She began skipping school to tend to her mother.
Eventually, in Zenthu's words her mother "succumbed to the excruciating pains".
She had died from HIV/Aids. One in three pregnant mothers in some townships has the virus - so everyone must surely know someone with HIV. But the stigma means it is not discussed.
Imagine being twelve, and being the primary caregiver to the person who brought you into this world. Watching her wither away and die day by day - slowly and painfully.
Why? Because she had sex with someone who was HIV+...whether or not they knew it.
What's worse, is that the tragedy repeats itself with the next generation:
Or perhaps once they have been orphaned they are more likely to develop relationships with older men who can give them clothes and mobile phone time, but whose age makes them more likely to have HIV.
Or that without their parents' protection they might be more vulnerable to rape, a crime so common that some mothers living in the townships take their daughters to have long-lasting contraceptive injections at the age of 12 or 13, not because they think they're going to choose to have sex, but because the likelihood they'll be raped is so high.
Think about these things a bit. The dogmatic insistence of the Pope on "abstinence" is rooted in some fantasy world where everybody follows the same rules. Out in the real world, it's a much harsher, grittier picture. Condoms are a necessary part of the fight against HIV/AIDS, just like realistic sex education is. Sticking your head in the sand isn't going to do it.
Unfortunately, people in Africa are dying, and because old men in cassocks don't want to face the reality of that situation, simple things that could be done are being suppressed. This isn't just wrong, it's a moral failing far beyond that which they are so quick to criticize others for.