Violet is overjoyed when an article she wrote helped get land a job as a weekly columnist in a big magazine in Nairobi. She’s HIV positive, a fact she has hidden from her toaster/boyfriend “Winston” and her family including her parents.
Winston has been asking her out but she has kept him off because she wants to give her heart to someone serious not sex minded guys. Winston not to be deterred has kept coming back assuring her that he wasn’t after her body but her heart.
Due to the fact that the article that got her the job was about her HIV status, she was obliged to tell her parents about her HIV status. She told her mother and proceeded to her father’s school (he is a teacher) to tell him. She told him about her status and confessed to never having a boyfriend but being lonely made her do “crazy things” which included alcohol intake and unprotected sex. She asked for forgiveness from her father who was visibly disappointed in her and told her to keep her status a secret to protect the image of the family and his profession as a teacher.
In another scene, Violet is seen hanging out with her toaster boyfriend “Winston” in his apartment and both seemed to have had to much to drink with both ending up having sex. Remember that Violet hasn’t told Winston that she was HIV positive and both just had sex.
She confided in Skola, the guy that gave her the virus in the first place of her fears. She said “I slept with Winston and didn’t tell him (that she was HIV+). Then Skola asked “but you did use protection…yeah?” and she replied “I think so (she was too drunk to remember). Then Skola told her to tell him about her status. He continued “not telling him that you are HIV+ is sex under false pretense and you can go to prison”. She replied “what difference will it make because the deed is already done” and Skola smartly replied “he could see a doctor for one, he can get on PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxix). Its a HIV preventive medicine which is taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex with a someone that’s HIV+ and if maintained for 4 weeks there is a chance that it might stop the infection from spreading. “But I don’t want to lose my father” (she didn’t want her father to hate her after he told her not to tell anyone) and Skola replied again “how is he adding to your life if he doesn’t support you”.
Violet went home to see her family who were having lunch at the dinner table. Before now, only mum and dad were aware of her HIV status. Her two siblings had no clue. With the mindset that the cat was gonna be let out of the bag sooner than later, she confessed of her status to her siblings and her father outrightly told her to go and deal with the shame alone, that she was no longer welcome in his house.
She then proceeded on that same day with the courage that Skola gave her to confess to Winston about her HIV status. She asked him “did we use a condom because I was too drunk to remember much” and he replied “yes we did use a condom”. She then threw the bombshell “I am HIV positive”. He was flabbergasted and asked “and you forgot to tell me?” of which she replied “I didn’t think we will go there (have sex)”. He then retorted “but we did”. She advised him to go a clinic and get himself checked, just incase. He stood up in anger and said “I really liked you and those feelings wouldn’t have changed if you had just being honest with me” and he walked out on her.
Morale of the story:
1. Love: Violet confessed to her father that he never showed her the love she craved for and deserved. She felt lost in the World without daddy’s love and support which got her lonely most times and craving for the love of other men. A father’s love for his daughter is a big measure of how well she handles life’s challenges especially sex and love. Father’s should never leave their daughter’s at the mercy of society. Be there for them at all times.
2. Be open: She failed to tell Winston about her status which almost ended up being costly because he might have contacted the dreaded disease from her. Her secrecy also cost her his love. Being HIV+ doesn’t mean you should go around telling everyone but tell the people that deserve to know (spouse/family).
3. Don’t discriminate: So many people living with the virus have ended up living far longer lives than some people living without it. Its not the end of the World so why discriminate. Only if we didn’t discriminate against people living with the virus, then maybe they would feel free enough to divulge their status.
4. PEP: Before watching the movie, I hadn’t heard of PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxix) and literally had to google it up for more information. I don’t know much about its availability in your area but at least we are now aware that something could be done to assist those that were raped by people with HIV or had consensual sex with people with HIV. For more information on the drug, click HERE (Be informed).
5. Responsibility: Taking responsibility for yourself and others is very key. Who would have thought that a pretty girl like Violet was HIV+. As Nigerians would say “AIDS no dey show for face”. Be careful and if you must “do”, use protection.
6. Know your status: Violet knew she was HIV positive and was taking medication because she knew her status. A friend said to me that after seeing the movie she wanted to know her status, in her own words “I know I am clean but I just want to make sure”. Be sure. Know your status.
Story was taken from Episodes 1 and 2 of the second season of Shuga: Love, Sex & Money.
1. Click HERE to watch MTV’s Shuga (Season 2, Episode 1)
2. Click HERE to watch MTV’s Shuga (Season 2, Episode 2)