Just like the twins in Calabar did not even get the chance to commit the crime for which they were being slaughtered, Albinos of Sub-Saharan East Africa have been continuously made to pay the price for the colour of their skin.
Tanzania, more than any other country, has a high population of Albinos as albinos represent one in every 1429 births. Tanzanian Albinos however do not feel safe in their homelands as they have been unduly persecuted.
Their persecution is based primarily on the belief that certain body parts of albinistic people can transmit magical powers. This superstition have been exploited by witch doctors and others who use such body parts as ingredients in rituals, concoctions and potions with the claim that their magic will bring prosperity to the user.
As a result, people with albinism have been persecuted, killed, ostracised and even dismembered. Very recently, in Tanzania, Albinos were largely hunted down for their limbs. This made many of them flee. Thankfully, some rescue agencies also came to their aid. The most outrageous part of this is the fact that graves of albinos are also dug up and desecrated to get their body parts
Apart from the magical superstition, albinos are also heavily persecuted because many believe it is a punishment from God or bad luck, and that their “disease” could be contagious which is often the view of even members of the medical and professional community. These beliefs are anything but true because I have lovely friends who are albinos and instead of bringing bad luck or evil, they actually bring joy to their friends and relatives.
This lack of knowledge about people with albinism actually affects their integration into the societybas they soon also perceive themselves as unwanted. Ninety-eight percent of albinos die by the age of forty for reasons which could easily be prevented.
Thankfully, Organizations such as Organisations such as National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH),Tanzania Albino Centre (TAC) based in Arusha, Tanzania; and individuals have been rising up to help people with albinism feel comfortable in their skin. Films to educate and create an international understanding of the trials which albinos have also been in circulation