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March held to support people living with albinism

“Their body parts are not to be used to make herbs or for healing or to change one’s bad luck to good luck.”

A march held to show support to people living with albinism was held in Vosloorus on September 15.

The march was organised by Sphamandla Organisation which works with people living with albinism and is based in Vosloorus.

Thembisa Zwane, the founder and chairperson of Sphamandla Organisation, said the purpose of the march was to raise awareness of the unnecessary killings of people living with albinism.

“We want to use this march to let people know that people living with albinism are human beings too.

“It is just that their skin condition is different.

“Their body parts are not to be used to make herbs or for healing or to change one’s bad luck to good luck.

“That is just a belief that has claimed the lives of innocent people living with albinism, so this must come to an end,” said Zwane.

Zwane pleaded with people who attended the march, as well as, the police to protect people living with albinism from evil people who are out there looking for their body parts to make herbs.

Protesters gathered at Vosloorus Police Station at 7am on the day.

Sbongile Mthethwa, the head of the marshals on the day, later started the march with a short prayer.

Protestors proceeded to MC Botha Drive via Roots Drive to uLondolozo Mini Park where different speakers delivered speeches to show support to people living with albinism.

 

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According to Lebohang Ntuli, who spoke on behalf of people living with albinism, they need love, care and protection.

“As I grew up, I got a lot of love from people around me.

“They made sure I had creams I needed for my skin and that I always wore a hat and sunglasses to protect myself from the sun.

“I wish people who live with people with our skin condition could give similar care to people living with albinism.

“I wish people living with albinism to love and accept themselves first so other people will accept you too,” said Ntuli.

“We would like to thank you for coming to pray with us as we suffer brutal killings, discrimination, stigmatisation, isolation, as well as oppression just because we were born with a skin condition.

“We would like to ask the almighty God to protect us as we face everyday challenges.”

Zwane sang the praises of the men in blue from the Springs Police Station who were there from the word go until they finished the day’s programme.

“I wish we could get similar support from our local station.

“I would also like to extend my greatest support to Capt Obed Phala (Vosloorus Social Crime Prevention Unit), as well Jerry Ramohapi (Vosloorus CPF) who ordered CPF members to give us extra protection,” said Zwane.

Even though not many people living with albinism attended, Zwane was pleased with the turnout as it was the first time such a march has taken place.

“I work with sensitive people.

“The reason most of them did not come is because they were not so sure of the level of protection as the march was happening for the first time.

“I believe in future they will attend in large numbers,” said Zwane.

 

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