Albinism is just the skin of the colour and any discrimination of human beings against one another has no place in society.
By Byron Mutingwende
Having differences in the colour of the skin is never an impediment for achievement, said Joseph Makamba Busha, a businessman, philanthropist and politician.
As guest speaker at the launch of the storytelling platform for people with albinism at Meikles Hotel on Wednesday 12 September 2018, Busha said there is need for all stakeholders to work hard towards eliminating discrimination of one human being by another, in similar fashion with musician and human rights campaigner, PJ Powers.
“There is a way. There is an answer. Great musician PJ Powers inspires me. She is a musician, a philosopher, social scientist and poet. PJ powers is fighting discrimination among people and I give her a 100% support. My message to Africa, Zimbabwe and the world is that we are one people regardless of race, colour or creed. There is nothing that makes us different. It’s not the shape of the nose or the colour of the skin. Those with albinism should be at peace with who they are,” Busha said.
The philanthropist said human beings can only seek acceptance in order to become the best of what they can be. He called on the corporate world and the society at large to pledge financial resources to help people with albinism acquire education and other necessities like sunscreen lotions.
The launch of the storytelling platform was a success, thanks to collective efforts by Miss Zimbabwe Albinism Trust, Khulisa Social Solutions Organisation and the award-winning PJ Powers who joined forces to build resilience and raise awareness through storytelling under the project dubbed Dare to Dream.
Brenda Mudzimu, the Founder of Miss Albinism Zimbabwe is also one of the leading personalities spearheading the Dare to Dream storytelling project that aims to embrace people with albinism in all spheres of development.
“When I started Miss Albinism, I approached Lesley Ann Van Selm a 21-year-old who runs the Khulisa Social Solutions, an organisation based in South Africa to perform at the Miss Albinism event but she couldn’t make it due to other commitments. Despite failing to come, she helped me to come up with the idea of coming up with the Dare to Dream storytelling initiative,” Mudzimu said.
September has been dubbed the month of albinism. Celebrated musician PJ Powers had a stellar performance at the Meikles Hotel where those in attendance joined her in dancing and singing along to her melodious and touching songs. Meanwhile, youngsters with albinism recounted touching stories of their lives.
Priscilla Chapwanya said she was born into a family of eight and is the only child with albinism. Her family members accepted her but problems started at school.
“At the primary school I attended, other pupils refused to share books with me. I was isolated. I also have poor eyesight but the teachers did not care to write notes on a bit darker chalkboard. Despite the challenges, I passed my Ordinary Level. I had the shock of my life when I enrolled at a teachers’ college where discrimination seemed more severe. In the dining hall, other students refused to share a spoon with me.
“As a teacher at one of the schools in Chitungwiza, I was affected one some of the parents transferred children from my class. From 50 pupils I remained with only 35. I have taught myself to be stronger than these challenges,” Chapwanya said.
Frank Nyamundero (27) grew up in Highfield and attended a regular school. When he turned 12 years old, his mother intended to transfer him to a special school but was restrained by Frank’s sister who advised her that such a move would destroy his self-esteem. Nyamundero has followed his passion and has become a prolific writer who has just released a book titled Living my Purpose to inspire not only the people with albinism but other marginalised group of society.
Rufaro Chinyanga has attained two university degrees because he follows his passion and is focusing on education, music, poetry and critical thinking. He intends to inspire lives through poetry.