Zimbabwe to host inaugural Miss Albinism
Zimbabwe has taken a step towards creating an environment that embraces the beauty of people living with albinism by hosting the inaugural Miss Albinism pageant.
The first ever Miss Albinism pageant in Africa was held in Kenya.
The pageant will be held today at Reps Theatre running under the theme “Beauty beyond the Skin”.
According to the Zimbabwe Albino Association (ZAA) project coordinator, Memory Munyoro, the pageant is aimed at addressing societal discrimination and stigma towards those living with albinism.
“As the ZAA we partnered with Brenda Mudzimu the founder of the pageant to address the discrimination faced by many ladies living with albinism especially when they attempt to join beauty pageants. They are usually rejected and we want to change this mindset,” she said.
Munyoro said the Miss Albinism event will prompt people to look beyond the skin.
“Ladies that live with albinism are more than their skin colour, they are clever and intelligent. We hope to showcase that through this pageant,” she said.
Apart from societal discrimination and stigma, Munyoro cited that people living with albinism face financial challenges to acquire lotions for their skin.
“Most people living with albinism come from broken and poor homes. This makes it difficult for them to access lotions, sunscreens and spectacles for their eyes,” she said.
People living with albinism in Africa especially ladies are prone to abuse due to misconceptions that sleeping with them cures HIV and Aids.
In Malawi, Tanzania and other parts in East and Southern Africa albinos are persecuted, hunted down and mutilated for their body parts.
Reports abound of albino hunters brutally hacking off their hair, arms, legs, skin, eyes, and genitals of their victims – abandoning them dead or alive – because these body parts are used in witch doctors’ spells and potions.