Writes Lovemore Chazingwa
The inaugural Mr and Miss Albinism Southern Africa pageant held last Saturday at Rainbow Towers in Harare was a resounding success, placating recognition in a seamless society for all sections of the community.
Brenda Mudzimu, an advocate for persons with albinism and Executive director of Miss Albinism Zimbabwe Trust, said the regional pageant’s central role is to dignify people with albinism, just like everyone else in society.
For its part, society as a whole comes together to celebrate life in its various allomorphs, humanity included, without discrimination.
Sponsored by ICT giant, NetOne, working in partnership with Albinism Initiative, the pageant sends a loud message for tolerance, inclusivity, empowerment, and Ubuntu which are cornerstones for a progressive environment.
In a speech read on his behalf by a representative, NetOne group chief executive officer, Eng. Raphael Mushanawani, drove the message that nestles in the inner heart of humanity.
“Albinism is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, yet it continues to be plagued by misconceptions, stigmatization, and discrimination. We firmly believe that we have a responsibility to use our platform to raise awareness about albinism and facilitate change within our community.”
Eng. Mushanawani revealed some of the major challenges faced by people with albinism and called upon every member of society in their roles to help mitigate the burden.
“We must recognize that people with albinism face many challenges, from visual impairment to skin cancer, but perhaps the greatest struggle of all is combating the social stigma associated with the condition. Too often, people with albinism are ostracized, discriminated against, and even subject to violence and attacks. At NetOne, we believe that we can make a difference in the lives of people with albinism by taking a proactive approach to education, advocacy, and support. We must work tirelessly to break down the barriers that prevent people with albinism from receiving equal treatment and opportunities, whether it’s in accessing education, employment, or living a life free of ridicule and abuse.”
He encouraged support in all forms without limiting this to tangible trinkets alone.
The group CEO implored players in the industry to invest in creating an enabling environment for all sections of society with emphasis on people with albinism.
“As an industry, we have a unique opportunity to create a positive impact and improve the lives of those with albinism. We must continue to innovate, break barriers, and forge alliances.”
According to Eng. Mushanawani, the body corporate is geared to take everyone on board, leaving no place and no one behind as enunciated in the national vision to being part of a whole society solution.
“NetOne is committed to taking everyone on board. As we move forward, we will work to ensure that our products and services are fully accessible to people with albinism and continue to promote awareness, education, and opportunities within our communities.”
Eng. Mushanawani is incandescent over issues around albinism that are close to his heart, hence a commitment to serve this section of society not only materially but morally as well.
“Let’s all take a moment to reflect on our values, our beliefs, and the kind of society we want to build. Let us work together, and be the change we want to see in the world.”
Music greats PJ Powers and Baba Mechanic Manyeruke were the toast of sound makers on the day. Other local artists that wowed the crowd include Dino Mudondo, Mbeu, Willom Tight, Mangwenya Diana Samkange, and Albinism Konnect Band.