A retired Langa teacher has published a book, written in Xhosa, which tackles the myths about albinism, and shines the spotlight on the challenges faced by those living with the condition.
Intsabo kaNomalanga is the second Xhosa book Nosipho Tshabane, 68, has written and published.
She told Vukani that, through the book, she aimed to urge the community to stop treating people who live with albinism as outcasts.
But above all, she said, she wanted to emphasise that they were more than their condition and were human beings just like anyone else.
She said the senseless attacks on people with albinism last year had inspired her to write the book.
The mother of three explains that the book talks about a young and gifted lady that has healing powers and through out her life she helps people despite her life being at risk. She said in the process she accumulates wealth but still continues to show her good heart, spirit of kindness and love.
Although she is gifted, she said, she continues to face rejection from the community.
She said in the book she also addresses the myths that the body parts of people living with albinism are used for witchcraft or notion that these attract wealth.
Overall, she said, the book takes a firm stand against the abuse and killings they were still subjected too. Even though she herself doesn’t have albinism, Ms Tshabane said it had not been difficult to write the book because she had drawn on what she had seen and experienced around her over the years.
“Albinism does not make them objects. We need to change our behaviour and attitude towards them They need us to protect them. I want this book to educate the nation.
I hope this book brings change in the country. I hope every household could have this book. Let’s all ensure that they are protected and feel loved,” she said.
She said she wrote the book in Xhosa to make it accessible and easy for her target audience to understand the message.
But she said it was also important to write stories in our mother tongue as that helps to preserve indigenous languages.
She also urged other senior citizens to start writing books and documenting their stories as a means of sharing their knowledge and experience, specifically with younger people.
Albinism is a disorder that one is born with and in human beings it is characterised by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.
Albinism is associated with a number of vision defects, and the lack of skin pigmentation makes for more susceptibility to sunburn and skin cancers.
Albinism is caused by a defect in one of several genes that produce or distribute melanin.
The defect may result in the absence of melanin production, or a reduced amount of melanin production. The defective gene passes down from both parents to the child and leads to albinism