Africa is the worst place to be an Albino. In a land where crazy superstitious beliefs and ignorance reign supreme, Albinos can only pray and run. Yes Albinos run all day and night. Albinos are running but not from wild animals. Albinos are running but not from some strange creatures from outer space. Albinos are running away from fellow human beings. Albinos are running away from the lack of compassion and love. Albinos are running away from the sheer stupidity and wickedness of fellow human beings. Albinos continue to run all day and night for the heart of man is desperately wicked. As most of you know, Albinism is the lack of melanin a pigment in the skin, eyes and hair which protects us from the sun's ultraviolet rays. In other words, melanin is that pigment that gives skin, hair, and eyes their color. Albinos are individuals lacking melanin. Albinos are individuals suffering from albinism and they are vulnerable to medical complications as well as social discrimination.
In most parts of the world today, social discrimination isn't a big issue for Albinos because most people have come to realize Albinism isn't that a crazy "disease" after all. Albinism isn't a disease. Gone are the days when Biblical diseases like leprosy terrified the soul of humanity. Gone are the days when people were thrown out of their communities for having incurable diseases. Gone are the days when men lived in total darkness. Light has come and the world is seeing things we could only dream of. The sad thing however is that, not everybody has seen the light. Many in some remote corners of the world still live in total darkness. Africa is no exception. Many Africans continue to live in darkness.
Every culture has some crazy superstitious beliefs and some often take things to the extreme. Many Africans have seen the light and many are seeing the light and we pray many more continue to see the light. Many of us (Africans) have no problem at all with albinism. In fact, one of my best friends is an Albino and without him, I would be gone (dead) by now. He was just a beautiful human being both inside and out and he still is. Albinos continue to run but not from average Africans like me but from the terrorists and the monsters amongst us and the best we all can do as a people is to stand up with our Albino brothers and sisters and fight these terrorists and monsters who continue to dwell in the dark shadows of crazy superstitious beliefs, illiteracy and ignorance. It is a fight we will and must win and we need to bring people to the light. Some Africans continue to believe in black magic and some other crazy superstitious beliefs. Some even take things to the extreme and don't mind attacking their fellow humans in order to satisfy their beastial instincts. That is the problem our poor Albino brothers and sisters continue to face in Africa today. In Africa today, the social discrimination against Albinos is far worse than even the medical complications Albinos go through every single day.
In Tanzania, witchdoctors are busy spreading this false belief that, expensive concoctions made from albino limbs, genitals, hair, skin, etc. bring good luck. This has led to many Albinos being murdered just for their "miraculous" body parts. In other words, Albinos are hunted by albino hunters, murdered, dismembered, and body parts sold to witch-doctors.
In other places like Zimbabwe, it's believed that having sex with an albino cures HIV/AIDS completely. This crazy superstitious belief has led to the rape of several innocent Albino men and women. In other words, poor innocent Albino people are being infected with the deadly HIV/AIDS all because of this crazy superstitious belief that sleeping with Albinos cure HIV/AIDS and the sad thing is that, Robert Mugabe and his cabinet are doing absolutely nothing about this extremely terrible situation.
For black African albinos, life is a living hell. Not only are their body organs hacked off and sold to witch doctors to concoct wealth-enhancing charms but justice has been far too slow in coming for them. It has been reported by authorities that some families even kill albino babies at birth to avoid discrimination why because in some cases, entire families with Albinos are discriminated against in Africa.
According to Science, Albinism is genetically inherited and it is caused by a recessive gene that is usually associated with other mutations as well. For example, many Albinos also suffer from several eye problems. In Tanzania (one of the Albino killing zones in Africa), the rate of albinism is very high at 1 out of every 4000 births. The rate according to science increases with in-breeding (including incest) but there are other factors as well. Although Albinism is hereditary, Albinos can have normal offspring with a mate who doesn't have the recessive gene.
Human beings are not the only ones affected by albinism. There are albino gorillas, reindeers, albino snakes, frogs and even albino birds.
There is no known way of preventing albinism. In most cases, genetic counseling is recommended for people with a family history of albinism when deciding to have children. Albinos can expect to have a normal life span but for those suffering from "Hermansky-pudlak syndrome", Skin Cancer, etc., the life expectancy could be reduced due to lung diseases, bleeding disorders, etc.
African albinos are so noticeable and so suffer the worst kind of discrimination and it's almost impossible for most Albinos in Africa today to enjoy normal lives. It is a nightmare to think of the uncertain and awful lives our Albino brothers and sisters have to live just because of a tiny "flaw" in their DNA. The little we can do as humans is to make the lives of our fellow humans better and not to attack them.
In an effort to stop the trade and albino killings, the police in Tanzania continue to arrest people suspected of murdering of Albinos and those involve in the selling of body parts to witchdoctors. The government has "officially" banned this trade and has also pulled licenses of healers suspected of engaging in this barbaric practice. It is a great initial step and we thank the Tanzania government but much more needs to be done. Several Albinos continue to die in Tanzania today and we feel the government isn't doing enough. Unlike the Tanzanian government who is at least doing something about this issue, the Malawian government and people have completely failed Africa in this fight and we urge all friends and citizens of Malawi to stand up to their government and protest this injustice.
Once again, we Africans love our Albino brothers and sisters and we stand with them in this fight to the end. It is the criminals and terrorists amongst us who hide under the dark shadows of crazy superstitious beliefs to commit these barbaric attrocities and we urge all including people in power and the international community to join in this fight.