Many African actors risk contracting STDs, HIV – Popular Ghanian Actress Haillie Sumney
Despite the fact that budding actress, Haillie Sumney, decided to quit her nursing career at the Riverside Hospital, USA, for acting in Africa, she seems not to have forgotten her background as a nurse.
During a chat with Saturday Beats, the rising star stated that from talking to her friends about sex-related issues, she had come to realise that a lot of African entertainers have a high risk of contracting STDs and HIV simply because they do not like to use condoms during sex.
“Many African actors stand the risk of contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV; I say this because African people can be very promiscuous and a lot of them do not believe in using condoms or using protection. They feel like they are ‘supermen’, and that HIV is not real.
“I have friends and I talk to them, especially my male friends and a lot of them say that they do not use protection because they do not like it and that is the only reason that they give. When you mention HIV, a lot of them act as if it does not exist. So I would say that a lot of them are susceptible to HIV and STDs.
“This is one of the reasons why I want to have a section for health on my television show; to educate the youth in a fun and laid back way. I also hope to have seminars, rallies and school visitations, where I would talk about these issues. It is a very big issue but we do not talk about it. We will go to hospitals; there are a lot of people dying of HIV. There are a lot of people that have HIV and do not even know that they are living with the virus because they have not tested themselves.
“As for me, I practise what I preach. My parents own a TV station in Ghana called Mission Africa TV and I will anchor a show there called, Vibe With Haillie, which is in the pipeline. It is a talk show that focuses on health-related topics, as I have that background. I would be giving health tips and discussing health issues as well as entertainment,” she said.
Born to a Ghanaian mother and a French father, Sumney said though she loved her time as a nurse, she offered the course to please her parents.
“I offered to study nursing because of my parents. They did not really see my vision as an actress and initially, they wanted me to have a professional degree. I enjoyed nursing but it was not my true passion and when I got back home, I decided to chase my dream.
“I worked as a nurse for about two and a half years and I enjoyed taking care of people because I have a good heart. I worked at Riverside Hospital, which was not far from the university that I attended. I enjoyed the job, to be honest, but I felt it was not really my calling. I enjoyed it while it lasted,” she said.
While asked to compare Nigerian and Ghanaian men, she simply said, “If I am going to compare Ghanaian men with Nigerian men, it will depend on what I am looking for. If I want ‘wahala’, headache and no rest of mind, then I would choose a Nigerian man, however, if I want to be taken good care of, I would choose a Nigerian man. Ghanaian men are very relaxed and sometimes they could be lazy. So, it depends on what I am looking for.”
The actress, who has been shuttling between the US, Ghana, and Nigeria, also advised Africans desperate to leave their countries in search of greener pastures abroad.
“I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, though I lived abroad for a long time and that is the mentality that most people have. When people hear that you are based abroad, they think that you are rich but you should see the way people are struggling abroad. For me to leave nursing and return to Africa; if it was so good, then why would I have left?
“Even if you are making money, it is spent on paying bills. The American system is all about paying bills and that is why I tell people who want to relocate abroad that they should just go to school and return to Africa because it is very easy to make it here than there. I say that they have a ‘zombie’ system whereby you would work like a robot and keep paying bills; to me, you cannot excel that way,” she said.