Do You Have The Right Attitude Towards Albinism?
It’s worth noting the small yet existent strides African countries have made towards addressing Albino stereotypes and discrimination; an existing example is a Kenyan NGO called the Albinism Society in Kenya (ASK).
“Albinism is the result of the biological inheritance of genetically recessive alleles, it is more popularly characterized by the complete or partial absence of the pigment in the skin, hair and eyes”
– Terry Swoope
The Kenyan Albinism Society used a pageant to celebrate the beauty that is people living with Albinism to honour their 10th anniversary. The event was aimed towards eliminating the stigma associated with the medical condition. The Kenyan Pageant which was hosted in Nairobi presented young people with Albinism an opportunity to step into the limelight of self and societal love. Titled Mr and Miss Albino, the participants’ cat walked and strutted in outfits contrary to their stereotypes such as urban and professional wear. The contest certainly served its main agendas including that of the boosting confidence of Albino youngsters who face some the worst forms of victimization.
“In Africa, people have black skin. When a woman gives birth to an albino, people say it’s a curse… Even the children of your age are afraid of you” – 24 year old contestant, Nancy Njeri Kariuki
(Source: Africa News)
It is heart wrenching that certain actions can make someone feel like a curse, considering we are all human beings after all and skin color or shade doesn’t determine someone’s worth. Sadly, across Kenya, Tanzania and other African countries Albinism is a highly stigmatized condition. The biggest threat to people with the condition being trade in Albino body parts – used in traditional medicine and believed to bring good luck, financial and political gain – on the black market.
We all have a responsibility to be accepting, encouraging and kind more so if you’ve just stumbled on this article! There is no excuse for discrimination of any kind.
In closing, in the words of Terry Swoope;
“Love doesn’t have color whether your skin is 3 shades darker or a hundred times lighter. Don’t judge based on inferences, don’t hate based on lies because the truth is hidden just beyond your eyes.”