In most parts of Africa, there is a lot of misinformation about people living with albinism. In Tanzania for one, people who practice magic believe albino possess great healing powers. Not in the sense that they should be cherished and revered for their healing powers, but in the sense that they should be hunted down, murdered, and their body parts used for conducting spells.
Down south, in Zimbabwe, there was a widespread campaign to create social awareness and debunk on albinism. Zimbabwe held its inaugural ‘Miss Albino’ pageant where all the contestants had were albinos.
The ‘Miss Albino’ pageant aimed to stamp out discrimination and stigma surrounding this skin condition. Sithembiso Mutukura, 22-years-old, emerged the winner and she said she wants to use the limelight that came with being the winner to fight for the rights of children living with albinism.
Mutukura beat other 12 contestants to be crowned Miss Albinism in that contests. She hopes she can be a source of inspiration for young girls living with albinism.
“We must continue to advocate for our rights, and I hope my win will empower the girl child. I have gone through a lot, but I want people living with albinism to be brave and persevere in life,” said Mutukura.
The contents was marked by the contestants modeling around a stage donning African gowns, as well as answering a number of questions on stage. Mutukura, as the first place winner walked home with $85 prize money.
Though cash-strained the organizer lifted the event off the ground
The organizer of the ‘Miss Albino’ pageant, Brenda Mudzimu, said the program almost did not take place since they had difficulty raising funds to make it happen. It was through the effort of the one sponsor that came through that made it all possible.