Swaray, who is living with albinism, beat 11 other finalists to win the edition of A Star is Born, the national talent hunt organised by the United Nations and the Liberian government. Swaray might have been killed as a child had his father heeded the warnings of a close friend to get rid of the infant because albinos have supernatural powers and bring misfortunes to a family. People living with albinism suffer from abnormal skin pigmentation resulting from a hereditary inability to produce melanin in their skin cells, according to the US National Library of Medicine. Melanin is a dark pigment that is responsible for producing skin, hair and eye colouration. Albinos suffer from vision problems and are susceptible to skin cancer. Swaray told Africa Renewal in an interview.

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A teenage albino boy has reportedly been killed and dismembered in Burundi. Previous albino killings in the African country have been linked to people practising witchcraft. In a five-year-old albino girl was kidnapped from her home by gunmen. Officials believe killings are carried out by local residents who work with witch doctors in neighbouring Tanzania, where 53 albino people have been killed since for their body parts. There are around , albino people living in Tanzania.

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Tanzania arrests 65 'witchdoctors' over killings

Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Please give now to support our work. Juma was 16 years old when Human Rights Watch interviewed him in July Seven years earlier, his life had been turned upside down because he was born with albinism. Orphaned since the age of six, Juma lived with his siblings and his grandfather, a heavy drinker, in a rural area of Northwest Tanzania, south of Lake Victoria. To populate these establishments, the government directed district and community leaders to bring children with albinism to the shelters. While there is no official data on the subject, a local activist estimated that around a thousand children from all over the country have been placed in shelters.


“It Felt Like A Punishment”: Growing Up with Albinism in Tanzania

A teenage albino boy has reportedly been killed and dismembered in Burundi. Previous albino killings in the African country have been linked to people practising witchcraft. In a five-year-old albino girl was kidnapped from her home by gunmen. Officials believe killings are carried out by local residents who work with witch doctors in neighbouring Tanzania, where 53 albino people have been killed since for their body parts.


Daily coronavirus briefing

Murders of people with albinism are a recently emerging human rights issue in Africa, particularly Tanzania. Thus far, public debates about albino killings in Tanzania and other African countries have been dominated by media reports rather than academic writing. This paper presents the findings of a content analysis of Swahili and English Tanzanian media reports published between and on albinism and albino murders in Tanzania, and the diverse activities that have unfolded in response to these attacks. Using a human rights framework, the article explores these responses from a social work perspective. It finds that interventions are often framed with reference to African conceptions of humanness.


Persecution of people with albinism

Persecution of people with albinism sometimes abbreviated PWA [1] is based on the belief that certain body parts of albinistic people can transmit magical powers. Such superstition is present especially in some parts of the African Great Lakes region, it has been promulgated and exploited by witch doctors and others who use such body parts as ingredients in rituals, concoctions and potions with the claim that their magic will bring prosperity to the user muti or medicine murder. As a result, people with albinism have been persecuted, killed and dismembered, and graves of albinos dug up and desecrated. At the same time, people with albinism have also been ostracised and even killed for exactly the opposite reason, because they are presumed to be cursed and bring bad luck. The persecutions of people with albinism take place mostly in Sub-Saharan African communities, especially among East Africans. Albinism is a genetically inherited condition which is very rare and, worldwide, affects approximately one in twenty thousand people. Albinism occurs in both males and females and is not specific to any race or ethnic group.

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