Crimes of colour

14.04.2015 - Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - Johannes Thengi Jiyane

Crimes of colour
(Image by Black Business Now.com)

When they should be free like everybody born innocent, they are not because their fellow countrymen are pulling them down because of their skin condition. In Tanzania it is still taboo to discuss positive issues related to people with albinism. To most Africans whatever is being discussed about people with albinism is negative. Only very few Africans acknowledge and sing the praises of people with albinism.

Tanzania albinos represent one in every 1,429 births which is higher than any other nation. About 80% of albinos will suffer from skin cancer before they reach 30 years of age. On top of that, this is a country where people with albinism are brutally confronted and physically attacked.

The worse part of it, society does not accept mothers of these children, as it says they brought curses and embarrassment into their families. Tanzania is estimated to have the largest population of albinos in Africa. On top of that there are those who believe that the body parts of people with albinism can still influence magical powers, Which is why they are being brutally attacked for mutilation.

East African indigenous people with albinism have been kidnapped and killed because there is that perception which has it they bring curses and bad luck. Such barbaric acts have traumatised these victims of circumstance, especially teenage girls and boys who want to know exactly what is wrong with themselves?. Why are they being tortured in this way? At one stage the government of Tanzania has found itself taking away children with albinism to boarding school. But during holidays the very same children were unable to come back home, because they were fearing for their lives.

The Canadian organisation in Dar es Salaam called ‘Living Under The Same Sun’ on 1 April 2014 released a report which contained physical attacks and killings in 23 African countries where violence was committed, grave violations, and cases of asylum seeking.

According to Al-Shyma Kway Geer, an albino member of Parliament, there are 6,977 people with albinism in Tanzania, of which 77,000 are not documented.

In the study published in 1982 it was revealed that people with albinism are less common among South Africans, mostly Zulu and Xhosas tribes, where there is one in 4,500 as against the number among the Swazi people. Sotho and Tswanathere have one in 2,000.

Categories: Africa, Diversity
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