Participants wait backstage before parading on the catwalk during the Mr. & Miss Albinism Kenya Beauty Pageant 2018 in Nairobi on Friday. | REUTERS
Kenya holds groundbreaking beauty pageant for people with albinism
NAIROBI – A groundbreaking beauty pageant for people with albinism has encouraged confidence and inclusion for people who remain the target of sometimes deadly stigma in Africa.
The first Mr. and Miss Albinism East Africa pageant held Friday night in the Kenyan capital drew participants from as far as Tanzania and Uganda.
Elizabeth James, from Tanzania, said she was forced to change schools as a child when people, staring and pointing, started trailing her home.
She called for an end to the ignorance that drives some to kill people with albinism for their body parts or even dig up graves in the misguided belief that they will bring wealth and good fortune.
“The threat has reduced greatly, but it’s still there,” she said.