People with albinism in Africa face a lot of challenges in their quest to gain acceptance in society.
It is not news that apart from the fact that they are often ostracized, they are also hunted for their body parts which are believed to have strong ritual values in many parts of Africa.
However, it appears Africa has taken a bold step to disrupt the narrative and champion the message of oneness and love for albinos.
In preparation for the Mr. and Ms. East Africa’s Beauty Contest coming up in Nairobi, Kenya at the end of November, 2018; Uganda has held its first-ever beauty contest for people with albinism to select the candidates that will represent the country at the contest.
Twenty-two candidates from six districts in the country competed for an opportunity to represent Uganda in November, but only 5 males and 5 females were picked by the judges to fill the required slots.
Speaking after the contest, director of the Malengo Foundation and a judge at the event, Michelle Omamteker said the event was important because it gives albinos a worthy representation and champions the need for society to see people with albinism as equals.
"Today was an important opportunity because we had the first hearings in Uganda of people with albinism for Mr. and Ms. Albinism from East Africa. This is extremely important because representation is important. That says a lot about how society perceives this difference", she said.
Contestants at the event thanked the organizers and said it was an opportunity for them to showcase the talents and he heard in society.
“I think next year it will be huge, there will be even more than the 22 of today. I think the numbers will reach a hundred, or even 200 and more”, said Brenda Boonabaana, a contestant.
“The reason I applied is that I want to be in the spotlight to represent albinism and I also need to raise awareness. Starting with the parents of people with albinism. Because there are things they do to children thinking they’re helping them, when they’re not doing them any favors”, said Paul Wakibona, another contestant.
We wish all the contestants the best at the finals in November.
Photo Credit: AFP