The boy lives on an island in one of Tanzania’s lakes. He sits alone and lonely on a boulder watching his younger brother swim in the refreshing waters of the lake. No such pleasure for him. He cannot, dare not, take off his clothes to join his brother at play. The sun on his bare skin could kill him.
He is an intelligent lad and would do well at school, if they would let him attend, but of course they will not, they are afraid of him, afraid of what he is. He can write and read well and will read any written word that comes into his possession, his nose barely two inches from the page, blinking frequently to re-focus his eyes. It is through his reading that he has come to learn of the special schools for children such as he, where education can be achieved in safety. But they are full, or expensive.
He knows full well the danger he lives in, he has heard of the dreadful things that happen to his kind. Mutilation and rape. His mother, always his protector whilst growing up, is ill with HIV, her condition aggravated by the constant fear for her sons life. Once he obtained a magazine about animals in different countries, he looked forward to reading it to his sick mother and little brother. As he read about the tiger in India tears filled his eyes. Here was an animal who suffered the same fate, for the same reason, as himself and his kind. Many, many people supported the tiger’s right to be free, to be safe, to be accepted for what it is.
As he read he wondered how many people knew of his kind, how many people cared about his kind……Albino. Many men had become rich selling the limbs of albinos to witch-doctors. The men would come in the night, and hack and hack with their machetes and pangas. Crudely and savagely removing an albinos limbs, leaving their victims to bleed to death, or if they should survive, die later of infection, and should they survive that, live out their short lives a cripple.
The girls fared far worse. Before stealing their limbs the men would rape them, taking an albino virgin was believed to cure HIV/AIDS.They have been stripped of their basic human rights, they have been reduced to a commodity, a ‘get rich fast’ item that is considered to have no feelings, and therefore not worth having feelings about……..They are called White Medicine…….but this is evil and wrong, they are not