Wits Students launched initiative to raise awareness.
A new initiative to raise awareness of the challenges of people living with albinism was launched at Wits University last month. I’m Not My Skin, launched by a group of Wits social work students, hopes to tackle myths and misconceptions about this congenital disorder which results in a lack of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes of affected people.
The body parts of people with albinism are highly valued in witchcraft while some believe that children with albinism are ghosts who bring bad luck. These and other beliefs have led to an increase in attacks on, and trafficking of, people with albinism.
“We are basically trying to debunk the myths created by our society, which is uninformed about albinism which leads them to abduct and kill people with albinism,” said first year social work student, and founder of the initiative, Priscilla Mabena.
“They kill people with albinism believing that their body parts will bring them luck or sell them to traditional doctors,” said Mabena.
Nkosinathi Dhlamini, a young man living with albinism, said that he fully supports the initiative. “This will educate those who are not well informed and make the world a safer place to live in for people living with albinism,” said Dhlamini.
I’m not my skin will host its first march on July 27 from Wits Great Hall in Braamfontein.