The beautiful Canadian born Ghanaian actress who has received several
awards and nominations, including the awards for Best Actress in a
Leading Role at the 2010 African Movie Academy Awards and Best Actress
in a Supporting Role at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2007, tested
positive for HIV as
Vanessa in a movie entitled – STIGMA also featuring
Hilda Dokubo, Emeka Ike, Emeka Duru and Ngozi Nwosu among others,
produced and directed by multiple award winning Nigerian filmmaker
STIGMA is set to be released coming December. Read touching synopsis and watch trailers below!
drama about ignorance and the consequences of carelessness. But also
about the power to overcome desperate situations in life, to burst one’s
bonds and finally to be what you want to be.
The life that surrounds Vanessa in the small community in Obonoma is
manageable. Her mother, Ibiso, works as the local midwife, she is the
only child of an already finished relationship and her mother’s job
permits her to go to school
There are few obligations for her
until her mother decides to accept the rampant promises of Smart Bob
Manuel and marry him. Quickly this new stepfather shows his real face
including his penchants for other women, stealing the mother’s money and
spend it for his extensive journeys to the local bar. Finally his way
ends in the house and in the arms of Ibiso’s best friend.
Vanessa’s childhood come to an abrupt end when her mother becomes ill,
first without knowing the reason, and Vanessa needs to work in her
mother’s profession to aliment the family with now two more little
children. She must learn about the enormity of ignorant thinking when a
doctor and very good friend of hers diagnoses AIDS to her mother which
results in the community including family members and her stepfather
ostracize her mother and her. In this very moment they need help and
support, but get only indifference and refusal.
Stigmatized, Ibiso dies in desperation and loneliness. Vanessa’s
heritage is a continuous stigmatization and financial problem because
the instilled fear makes most of her patients stay away. Although she’s
working with more medical precautions than her mother, Vanessa becomes
infected with the virus also.
The young woman is going to cave
in, remembering the sad way in which her mother was taken, and to be
left alone from her dearly beloved longtime boyfriend.
Vanessa decides to end her tragic life by herself, it takes a turn for
the better, for the only reason that there’s someone who is not
following that antiquated ways of thinking. With the help of that person
Vanessa is no more a prisoner of circumstance and social rape.
She turns her illness into the possibility to begin a new life and
buries the stigma of beeing HIV positive by starting a career as a
motivational speaker and famous advocate of people with AIDS. Her
successful fight not only initiates her personal reformation but also
companions of Vanessa’s past developed and now want to come back to her
But forgiveness is not easy to grant and sometimes it could be too late….
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