Miss Albinism pageant set for December

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THIS year’s edition of the Miss Albinism pageant is scheduled for December, with organisers expressing optimism that the event will be bigger and better following the partial re-opening of the arts and tourism sectors.

The pageant — whose inaugural edition was held in 2018, where University of Zimbabwe student Sithembiso Mutukura, pictured, was adjudicated the queen at the age of 22 — helps the albino community spread awareness about the condition.

“The event will be held in December at a venue to be announced.

“We are happy that the preparations are moving according to the plan,” Brenda Mudzimu, the pageant director said.

With Zimbabwe said to have at least 39 000 people living with albinism, the organisers believe the pageant goes a long way in fighting discrimination and stigma surrounding the condition.

“People living with albinism have an array of problems they face which are different from other people.

“Some of these problems, including stigma and discrimination, are directly caused by the society.

“As a result, we hope the pageant will address these differences and make the society come to terms with the condition,” Mudzimu said.

In some parts of the continent, the “an endangered people” are hunted for superstitious purposes, as it is believed that their body parts bring wealth, power or sexual conquest, and that having sex with a person living with albinism cures HIV and Aids.

Amnesty International reported that their body parts are sold to witchdoctors for thousands of dollars.

The killings were more prevalent in Malawi, Burundi and Tanzania compared to other African countries.

The world over, it is estimated that between one in 17 000 and one in 20 000 people are albinos.

The prevalence in parts of Africa, however, is far higher than the global average.

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