Nigerian fans of the popular family series on Africa Magic, The Johnsons have raised concerns over the portrayal of one of the characters, Gaji Samuel, who played Muhammad, the gateman and his wife, Aisha.
Those who made the observation said the maker of the film deliberately portrayed the two insignificant characters in the sitcom to offend the sensibility of their Muslim fans, knowing full well that their Prophet’s name is Muhammad and his wife, Aisha.
The accusation against the production company, Native Media Limited and Director, Charles Inojie, who also plays Lucky Johnson in the controversial series, was coming few days after the United Nations marked the International Day to combat Islamophobia.
Earlier, before fans disappointment over the show that has been running on TV for close to 8 years, a Nigerian media analyst, Yusuf Jimoh Aweda said the director/producer of the show “deliberately chose those names, discerning clearly that the revered prophet of Islam is Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his wife’s name was Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) in REALITY.”
In his article titled, ‘The Johnsons TV Show And Its Insensitivity To Onomastic Integrity’, Mr Aweda said, “beyond the entertainment, there’s more to the series that requires scrupulous attention. The gateman’s name, yes “GATEMAN” whose characater tells of more DEGRADING role in the show is MUHAMMAD, yeah, MUHAMMAD (coincidence right?) and the wife is AISHA.
“Well, this may not immediately sound bizzare because the Muslims’ values and codes of conducts are often degraded in movies, like using Muslim names for gatemen and so on. This is seen as normal by those in the entertainment industry.
“But to now choose MUHAMMAD as a name of the gateman, and his wife’s name to be Aisha, is mind puzzling,” he added.
In his reaction, Giwa Omobolaji Idrees, said the development brings to fore the subtle ways Muslims are being undermined and psychologically attacked without most of the adherents thinking about it.
According to him, “Muslim names are used for menial jobs in movies as well as roles of thugs in the yoruba movie industry. Movies like ‘Aminatu papapa’, ‘Kudi Klepto’, ‘Saheedi Esu’ among others are the subtle insults to the Islamic faith which unsuspecting Muslims take for granted but others use to build an impression of Muslim names and ways.
“This has to stop”, Mr Giwa said, as he called on Muslims to be awake and be ready to always speak against films that denigrate the sanctity of Islam, Muslims and the personality of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
In his opinion, Olaniyi Oladuntoye said, “What else can one say when the so-called Muslim actors like Femi Adebayo use Muslims names in a despicable manner. Jelili was used as a bed-wetter as an adult, likewise Muniru and Anbali.
“Secondly, we have consigned some roles and names to some tribes, like an hausa name must be the mai guard or gateman etc. Pls, if there is a way we can pass our message across, it will be welcomed.”
All efforts to get the reactions of the production company or director proved abortive as at the time of filing this report on Sunday, 5:30pm, but Muslim News is exploring other means to hear their own side of the story.
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