Albinism is a rare, hereditary condition that leads to a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin and eyes. Without melanin in their skin, those with albinism are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun.
In Africa, albinism is associated with many negative misconceptions and superstitions. As a result, many albinos suffer stigma, alienation and even physical abuse.
There’s no known cure, but at least the misconceptions and superstitions are being addressed:
The Albinism Society of Kenya have held a Mr and Miss Albinism beauty pageant in Nairobi to support those with the hereditary condition.
The pageant, called “Accept me, include me, I can,” included participants from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and aimed to boost the confidence of young people with albinism.
And the winners are:
Emmanuel Silas Shedrack, 20, from Tanzania and Maryanne Muigai, 19, from Kenya were crowned the winners.
There were thirty contestants in all.