Albino African

Albino African Citizens Live In Fear of Witchcraft Money Makers

The albino African looks at every day as a challenge. It's a challenge to protect the skin from a merciless sun which can easily cause painful burning. It's a challenge to keep ahead of a genetic disorder that could result in premature death due to skin cancer. It's a challenge to learn to read and write because albinism affects the eyesight. But harder than all of those challenges is the daily challenge to stay alive in a society willing to murder albinos for profit.

In the West albinism is more of an inconvenience than a deadly condition. Western medicine knows how to prevent skin cancer, we can address the vision issues, and most albinos go on to live a normal and productive life. But in Africa the ancient practice of witchcraft means an entirely different life for the albino population.

The culture of witchcraft is one that believes albinism is a curse resulting from improper behavior among the albino child's parents. At the same time, witchcraft also teaches Africans that albino body parts hold some mystical, magical powers that will enable a non-albino to prosper and become wealthy. For example, by weaving hair from an albino into fishing nets, a local fisherman is believed to increase his daily catch significantly.

Witchcraft Money Makers Getting Away with Murder

The combination of cultural beliefs and the witch doctor's position of influence have resulted in a huge demand for albino body parts. As an example, witch doctors will pay as much as 2,500 for a single arm or leg. And those who don't want to be involved in the messy business of murder will simply demand that those who come to see them bring the parts themselves.

If there's any good news in this macabre story it's the fact that harvesters will concentrate on graves of albino African citizens first. But when graves aren't available, or fortified so they can't be desecrated, the criminals think nothing of invading a home in the middle of the night and killing innocent victims.

Since 2007 there have been 53 reported cases of albino murders in Tanzania. But that's only the tip of the ice berg. The remote nature of much of the outlying country, combined with the fear of witch doctors and the moneymaking opportunities means most of these murders go unreported. Officials in Tanzania suggest there could be hundreds of murders every year no one is talking about. That's not even considering those who are attacked yet still survive.

So Much More to Do

In recent years the government has stepped in and tried to put an end to the grisly murders. Arrests and convictions are on the rise, including the recent conviction and death sentence handed to three men found guilty in several albino murder cases. But there is so much more to do.

Government officials and albino advocacy groups not only have to protect the albino African from attack, they also must change the culture and the superstitious practices that are causing the problems. That's a hard thing to do.

You can help SAC make a difference to Veda and albino children's lives on Ukerewe and bring an end to albino attacks and murders by making an online donation. Whether large or small, every pound you can add to the cause will help Veda and albino children in need.

To view more click on our video and image gallery.

For more information about the film project please visit: www.intheshadowofthesun.org.

If you are interested in supporting either of our projects then please do contact Jennifer Walker on 07775 505807 or 01933 664091 or via our contact us page. Alternatively click on our "How to help" page.

Home > Projects > Ukerewe Albino Society > Albino African Citizens Live In Fear of Witchcraft Money Makers