Nazeem Hussain has enjoyed much acclaim in recent years as one half of Fear of a Brown Planet and the presenter/writer/driver of Legally Brown. Whipsmart, thoughtful and highly articulate, Naz takes Julia home to the only house he’s ever lived in – the Burwood bungalow he shares with his devoted mother Mumtaz, and two sisters.
He describes a tight family unit who held together when their dad left them and returned to Sri Lanka. He expands on their mother’s courage and determination to see her kids grow into successful and compassionate adults. Julia meets the effervescent Mumtaz and she proudly shows them Naz’s old report cards.
Nazeem walks Julia to Ashburton Primary School – the place where he quickly learnt that humour was the way to strike back at the bullies who teased him for being different. A practising Muslim, he opens up on his faith and takes Julia to a mosque. Inside the serene white walls of the Carlton mosque, Nazeem tells Julia he sees comedy as a powerful tool in countering intolerance and racism and talks about criticism he has received from both outside and inside the Muslim community.
Next stop is Melbourne High School where he was a top student. Nazeem relished his years there and describes the joy of attending a school where a love of learning and a desire to succeed were celebrated not knocked.
9:05pm Wednesday, 3 December ABC.