‘Albinos need sup­port’

Afro Voice (Western Cape) - - Kwazulu-natal News - ELFAS TORERAI elfast@afro­tone.co.za

THE city of Mat­losana on Tues­day set aside time to re­flect on al­binism and high­light the rights ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple liv­ing with the con­di­tion.

The event, held at the may­oral hall, was at­tended by peo­ple with al­binism, hu­man rights ac­tivists, po­lice, coun­cil­lors and mem­bers of the pub­lic.

Mem­ber of the may­oral com­mit­tee (MMC) for trans­ver­sal is­sues, Irene Mate­toane, said for long, peo­ple with al­binism have faced dis­crim­i­na­tion, derog­a­tive com­ments and myths.

Mate­toane said peo­ple with al­binism need to be sup­ported and that they should also stand up to claim their right­ful po­si­tion in so­ci­ety.

Dr Di­akanyo Mon­twedi said al­binism does not make peo­ple liv­ing with the con­di­tion any dif­fer­ent.

“They only have less pig­men­ta­tion that af­fects the colour of their skin, eyes and hair. As a re­sult they have low eye­sight and sen­si­tive skin. Al­binism can be found in all races. A per­son liv­ing with al­binism has in­her­ited the ge­netic dis­or­der from their par­ents,” Mon­twedi said.

“They can live nor­mal lives when they pro­tect their sen­si­tive skins by wear­ing long sleeves and long pants, sun­screen, sun­glasses and hats. Their skin is prone to cancer, so they need to be well taken care of.”

Al­binism So­ci­ety of South Africa’s Kgosi Se­gopodi said that she was a prod­uct of Mat­losana mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

A pro­fes­sional nurse, Se­gopodi said she got her qual­i­fi­ca­tion be­cause she ob­tained a bur­sary from Mat­losana mu­nic­i­pal­ity eight years ago.

“I want to en­cour­age peo­ple with al­binism to fol­low their dreams and be am­bi­tious as any other per­son be­cause they have po­ten­tial. They should also form sup­port groups to en­cour­age one an­other,” she said.

Once or­gan­ised, Se­gopodi said it was easy for fun­ders to come on board and sup­port them.

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