Malawi, Kenya, and Mozambique are some of the African countries notoriously known as danger grounds for people with albinism.
This is as a result of a stigma which makes people with albinism discriminated, mutilated and even killed just for their difference in skin color. According to the United Nations, there were 40 attacks on PWAs between August 2015 and March 2016.
In order to fight this social stigma surrounding people with Albinism, the Albinism society in Kenya hosted its first ever Mr and Miss Albino beauty pageant.
The Albino beauty pageant was spearheaded by Kenya’s first-ever albino MP, Isaac Mwaura. He said:
“We will make the world understand that we aren’t ‘mzungu,’ (white people)” Mwaura told the audience at Nairobi’s Carnivore restaurant and event space.
“We aren’t pesa (money). We are human beings,” he added.
The event was held in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Deputy President William Ruto, as well as other politicians were in attendance. 20 PWAs contested in talent competitions and catwalks.
The People With Albinism society in Kenya admitted that most PWAs have a low self-esteem due to their different skin color and the discrimination that comes with it. However, at the event the PWAs were exuberant and confident.
The event was held under the tagline of “my beauty, my pride” and like all events in this age, it was promoted on social media with the #BeautyBeyondTheSkin hashtag.
The pageant will be hosted annually to raise self-awareness for people living with albinism, as well as putting an end to the killings, abuse, mutilations, discrimination and stigmatization against PWAs.
The pageant will also raise funds to advance the education of PWAs, furthermore, part of the funds will be used to create job opportunities for PWAs.