Miss Albinism 2018, Sithembiso Mutukura yesterday said it was imperative for parents with children living with albinism as well as their teachers to be conversant with the condition so that they can offer them adequate support in their endeavours.
The beauty queen, who made history by becoming the first Miss Albinism in March this year to help re-affirm the idea that albinism is beautiful, was speaking ahead of plans by Alive Albinism Initiative to join other African countries for an anti-mutilation and killing of persons living with albinism march in Pretoria, South Africa on June 30.
“Parents with children who are living with albinism should love their children and support them in all their endeavours and teachers, who work with children with albinism, must not be ignorant,” she said.
Mutukura urged stakeholders, the government included, to promote the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The super model said people living with albinism in the country faced “a magnitude of challenges, economic, social and health related.”
She also spelt out her intentions to work with local communities in raising awareness on albinism.
“I intend to harness the spirit of togetherness through engaging the University of Zimbabwe community and the Marondera community where I come from, to hold albinism awareness campaigns and possibly radio and television talk shows on this subject,” she said.
Mutukura reaffirmed the commitment during a discussion with panellists including Albinism Alive’s executive director Gwenlisa Mushonga, Barbra Munyangairi of Deaf Zimbabwe Trust and disability rights lawyer Abraham Mateta, which was moderated by talk show host Rebecca Chisamba.
The albinism empowerment organisation’s secretary-general, Brian Sithole, yesterday said the march to be hosted by their South Africa-based partners, Tassie, was part of the International Albinism Awareness Day commemorated last week.
He said the march would help address various misconceptions and myths that led to the mutilation and killings of people living with albinism in some African countries in recent years.
“Our aim is to raise our voice to the South African government so that they ensure that our people are protected from the unscrupulous harmful practises that are resulting in the loss of lives and limbs of members of our constituency,” he said.
Mushonga and Sithole, together with Gamuchirai Uzande and Raza Ngonidzashe, will represent the country at the march that is expected to be addressed by the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.