JTown’s Hoodrep Calls Out Reality Show Organizers for Sickle Cell Discrimination And Stigmatization

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My name is EL-SHAMAH IGBANOI BENSON, I’m a 28 y/o actress, model, creative writer, fashionista extraordinaire, mother and so much more.

I’m a contestant on the Nevadabridgetv’s reality show “NaijaHoodRep” repping Jos, Plateau State, home of peace and tourism. I’m a sickle cell warrior, I’ve lived with, battled and survived sickle cell anemia my entire life. I’ve always lived and believed in the reality that condition is not a disability and in the possibility of living a long, healthy and full life, with the confidence to live my life to it’s fullest and pursue my dreams, maximize my potentials and achieving my goals and aspirations. I’m currently on the verge of getting pulled out of the reality tv show, mainly on the grounds of my medical condition, “the doctors say I’m not fit to continue” but this is part of the stigma I’ve faced all my life as a Sickle cell warrior, I believe if the organizers knew I had SCD from beginning I would never have made it on the show in the first place, I would have been excluded, so due to fear of this stima I withheld the information and competed through series of auditions and trials to earn my spot on the show, fair and square. I fell sick while on the show because I wasn’t on my routine drugs, as we weren’t allowed in the house with any drugs not prescribed by the in house doctor and since I was still trying to be strong and not excluded or give a chance I didn’t insist, but lo I fell sick while I the house and this has caused a panic and the fear that I may not be able to continue but I want the world to know I’ve survived worse and I’m still here, still fighting and trying. Leaving the contest without a fair chance would greatly affect my confidence, dash my hopes and dreams and make me a victim of the exact stima which I have battled with my entire life.

I’m appealing to the general public and the organizers of the NaijaHoodRep reality show to help me stay on in the house and only get evicted due to natural processes in the course of the competition rather than going out like this. Sickle cell anemia is not a disease. I deserve a fair chance to compete and succeed.

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