March highlights plight of albinos

The Western Cape Shine Albinism and Hypo-pigment Foundation members held a peaceful march in Langa to condemn the discrimination and attacks on people living with albinism.

Under the theme “Nathi Singabantu” (We are also human) the group called for the community to change their negative perception and hatred towards them. They argued that the only thing that made them different was that they had a different skin colour from other people.

Spokesperson for the marchers, Zama Shozi, said they decided to march because they wanted to inform the community about the many challenges that they faced and hoped that they could be their protectors from all these harsh challenges.

She said the fact that they lived in fear was not normal and all they wanted was to live a normal life like other people. She said albinism was not a disability and that those with the condition had all the capabilities and skills to do anything those who did not suffer from albinism, could do.

“We are discriminated against only because of the colour of our skin. We don’t get jobs because of the colour of our skins.

“We are called names such as Inkawu (baboons). These are things that we hear from our own families and community at large.

“We are also killed because people believe that our human body parts contain luck and give them to sangomas. We want change that myth,” she said. Sangoma, Owen Manamela, said he attended the march because he wanted to destroy that myth that human parts of people living with albinism were lucky.

He said such beliefs created a negative perception and tainted the image of traditional healers. “Real traditional healers don’t kill people. All of those people that use human body parts are not healers but people are using this calling for their own selfish reasons. I call the community at large to step up against the abuse and violence committed against people living with on disabilities,” he said.