Kenya Hosts First Ever Albino Pageant: See Why This Needs To Go International

by Abigail Oluwakemi
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It’s the first of it’s kind, and it is taken what is seen to be different and putting it on a pedal stool. It’s the first ever Miss Albinism Kenya. And although we are late on this report, The event took place in Kenya on the 21st of October saw many albino’s compete for the title. A Contest in Nairobi aimed at fighting back against persecution in east Africa, where albino body parts are sold on black market, the Daily Maverick reports

 

With its evening gowns, celebrity judges and tears of joy, this beauty pageant in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, was like many others – except for one thing: all 20 contestants had albinism.

Titled Beauty Beyond Skin, the world’s first albino pageant was designed to celebrate people who lack pigment in their skin, hair and eyes, and to fight the widespread persecution of albinos in east Africa.

Ten women and 10 men modelled the latest fashions at the event as they competed for the title of Mr and Miss Albinism Kenya in front of a crowd of about 1,000 people, including the deputy president William Ruto.




A contestant walks down the catwalk in her own creation. Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

A contestant walks down the catwalk in her own creation. Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

Loyce Lihanda, who was crowned Miss Albinism Kenya, said: “For so long albinos have been treated as half-humans because they [are] different. In turn this has affected our self-esteem and the ability to utilise and explore our skills and talents.

“We come from a mentality that we cannot achieve what ‘normal’ people can because we are different. Yet time has proven that we can excel.”

In Kenya, albinism is a highly stigmatised condition. The biggest threat to people with the condition is the trade in albino body parts – used in traditional medicine and believed to bring good luck and financial and political gain – on the black market.

In neighbouring Tanzania, at least 75 children and adults with albinism have been killed since 2000, and more than 62 others have escaped with severe injuries after attacks by people seeking to supply witch doctors thought to pay up to $75,000 (£61,500) for a full set of body parts.

Hopefully this wonderful initiative can reverse this tragedy innocent children with albinism face.

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