The new episode of the popular TV drama series, Professor Johnbull, sponsored by the fully integrated telecommunications company, Globacom, this week touches on the issue of stigmatisation and discrimination against ex-convicts and people living with HIV and other infectious diseases.
Entitled Stigma, the episode calls for full and unconditional integration of all those who had served their terms in prison custody, so that discriminating against them would not push them into further crime, which will be to the detriment of the society.
Viewers of the sitcom will find the lead character, Professor Johnbull, acted by the veteran Nollywood actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo (KOK), in his cerebral best as he postulates on why it is beneficial for the society to have a fully reformatory prison system and a robust public enlightenment on how ex-convicts can also be useful to the society if fully integrated.
He posits that “there is no ordinary crime as every crime has a devastating effect”, and goes further to lambast those who stigmatise people living with HIV. The actor adds that the mere fact that a patient is asked to run an HIV test is not a confirmation that the patient is infected, and urged every citizen to make conscious efforts to know his HIV status.
Stigma is centered around the hip-hop star, Innocent Idibia, a.k.a. Tuface, who plays the role of an ex-convict who tries to run an eatery but lacks patronage on account of his term in prison and Mai Doya (Funky Mallam), who goes for an HIV test and his lean stature fuels negative rumours about his HIV status. The episode presents to the viewers the catastrophe that can befall a society which lacks basic enlightenment on issues like these.
Particularly, Tuface’s dilemma when nobody patronises his food joint because he was once jailed for “ordinary burglary”, and he has to eat the food himself, epitomises the parlous state of the nation’s prison system which makes KOK ask if our prison system is reformatory indeed or punitive.
Billed for airing on NTA Network, NTA International on DSTV Channel 251 and NTA on StarTimes at 8.30 p.m. on Tuesday with a repeat broadcast on Friday at the same time and on the same TV channels, Stigma stars regulars of the sitcom such as Olaniyi (Yomi Fash-Lanso), Ufoma (Bimbo Akintola), Etuk (Imeh Bishop), Samson (Ogus Baba) and Abadnego (Martins Nebo).