Monday, November 06, 2006

The Stigma of HIV in Nigeria

Below is an incredible documentary shown on BBC World on Friday. It is about a young Nigerian woman and her struggle against HIV and the how Nigerian society stigmatises those with the virus. It is such people that make me proud to be Nigerian, whatever that means. She shows an indomitable spirit in dealing with her ailment, and by extension shows the inner resolve most Nigerians need to survive such harsh terrain. Her epiphany for deciding that HIV needn't be the death of her is tragicomically Nigerian. The voiceover, though, is needless, and takes some getting used to. I make no apologies, but I can only presume that Rockhopper and BBC World didn't think their audiences would be able to cope with both a strong accent and speaking fast.

I might be persuaded that Nollywood can work in some weird twisted way. The acting featured in the drama is no less melodramatic than your standard Nollywood fare, but looked oddly tolerable. Perhaps all Nollywood needs is some better production values. Time will tell. It would be a shame if not much more than the three or four people who watch BBC World will get to see it, so I've put it up for your benefit.

The blurb:
Survivor's Guide to Growing Up: The stigma of HIV in Nigeria
An extensive survey reveals there has been widespread violation of the rights of people living with HIV.This episode will focus on a 19 year old HIV-positive individual. This programme will explore how serious stigmatisation has become. Produced by Rockhopper for BBC World.


Anonymous said...

wow!! To some extent am surprised! A friend of mine interned at the hospital shown in the documentary but i can't believe the stigmatization! I mean is it really that bad? I don't know. Enlighten me.

Quite interesting documentary i must say

Anonymous said...

I thought the voice over was totally unnecessary but whatever.
Moving on, it was a nice documentary, the first of it kind I’ve ever seen from Nigeria and I’m kinda proud that people
that are HIV positive are actually coming out and talking about it without shame…it gives a live face to the disease which could help Nigeria tremendously.

The stigmatization is bad everywhere in the world, even here in the west...its simple, people are afraid of what they dont understand. Its probably going to continue for a while, all it takes is education.

I keep hearing about that hospital in Gwagalada, my sister was in the country 2 years ago for a while, working on some public health program and she went down there and she had nothing but praises for them and the work they are doing. I also think thats a positive step, and people should help keep it going 'cos they need more hospitals in the rural parts.

Thanks Nkem

Anonymous said...

well...i guess that puts the 'importance' viktor and rolf collection in perspective.

what a strong woman.

Talatu-Carmen said...

Thanks for posting this. It is very, very well done. I do agree that the voice-over is bizaare, but the rest of it makes up for it. Will this be made available to people in Nigeria, I wonder...