Truth be told, I cannot hide my Excitement any more, June 13 is a day that will forever be remembered as a game changer in the Lives of People Living with Abinism. Many stories have been told of how individuals living with Albinism are Super Natural human beings that has seen many of them lose their lives to those who wish to acquire wealth through Sacrificial Rituals. These and many more myths is what has largely put the lives of individuals with albinism in deep fear of what will happen to them next.
While growing up I will not cover up because we were always told that people living with Albinism are like gods and personally I feared them until when I got to my Form Seven where my Science teacher tried to explain why these people had a different skin color. At that time I could hardly figure out the sophiscated science terms due to the limited knowledge I had about the whole skin complexion science. I have no doubt that there are many individuals out there in society who still think and believe that people living with Albinism are not normal people. I am here to rubbish all those myths and false beliefs that have been told for years and have continuously watered down the confidence of people living with albinism.
As I tried to find out the correct name given to such people I found it really hard after I had used the word Albino in one of my tweets to celebrate #AlbinismAwareness Day and One of the persons living with Albinism Quoted it back telling me of how it was so wrong to call them albinos. She quoted “People with Albinism are not Albinos. That’s a HUGE problem, nobody is an albino- what is that? People Living with AIDS are not AIDS!!” It’s for that reason that throughout in this article I will stick to the words People living with Albinism instead of Albinos for lack of a better English word to describe them.
Saturday 8am East African Time, while in a commuter Taxi, I saw a large group of people living with Albinism peacefully matching along Kampala road and very hastily I asked my neighbor whether he had an idea what was happening. In a very clear tone he told me that June 13th is the day that United Nations set up to bridge and close the gap between People living with Albinism and the other people in society. I must confess I was over joyed to hear that these people do have a special day set apart to recognize them and to fully create awareness in society that the People living with albinism have equal opportunities just like those without Albinism.
Being the First year that the world is coming together with a common voice to break the segregations that have for a very long time existed in society. I am now fully aware just like you should be that People living with Albinism are Normal People like any other and they deserve equal treatment in society. True the beliefs and connotations that our fore ancestors had about people living with albinism need to change, the change may be slow but I have no doubts that with efforts from you and me it can be achieved.
Few minutes before writing this article, I watched one those living with albinism on one of the TV stations in Uganda narrate the pain they go through with the massive segregation and demoralizing chants that are always thrown to them in society. I had made up my mind not to mention the station but I am compelled by their great action of spreading the #AlbinismAwareness campaign. Thank you to Vision Groups’ Bukedde Television for having hosted people living with albinism to tell their story to the whole world. In addition to that for bringing a couple with two children where the mother is living with Albinism and the father is without Albinism.
It’s taken us so many years to recognize these people but I am very optimistic that it’s never too late to start. Now that the UN has done its part of setting up this day, the mantle is now on me and you who form our government to make sure people living with albinism are held closer and loved just like any other. As a social media enthusiast who believe in Love and Care I hereby commit to always look out for those untold stories and share them on social media.
I know many are going to read this but I am not sure if many will share it so I now kindly ask all those that read this to share it with others so that we can create a better and more equal society. People living with albinism are very normal people and they deserve equal rights and opportunities.
By Mwebya Fred,