Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu champions the cause for the rights of people with Albinism
The Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, will be addressing guests at the launch of a stage play – Mama, I Want the Black That You Are in Soweto – in Soweto on Thursday 06 September 2018.
The play is centred around a 15-year-old girl with albinism who harbours a plethora of emotions based on the abuse and prejudice she has suffered from the community because of her condition.
Matlakala, as her character is called, comes from a loving family of parents who do not have albinism and to protect them, has kept the social problems she has encountered due to stigma and myths surrounding albinism, away from them.
Her mother, Anna, it turns out – is her adoptive mother who rescued a newly-born Matlakala from a rubbish dump many years after she had been forced to sacrifice her biological child to be killed by her elders due to the child having been born with albinism.
In some African countries, beliefs and superstitions about a distinct power possessed by the body parts of people with albinism have reinforced discrimination against them and expanded on the types of violations to their right to life. People with albinism are often killed or mutilated for muti-related reasons.
By April 2018, a study concluded that 200 killings and more than 500 attacks on people with albinism had been reported in 27 sub-Saharan African countries.
Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu, has constantly campaigned against the killing of people with albinism. In March and April, she visited the Shabane and Mkhize families following the killing and mutilation of their children Gabisile and Xolani who had the condition.
In all of the Department of Social Development’s drives, the Deputy Minister ensures that people with albinism receive dignity packs which contain additional resources including lip balm, sunscreen, sunglasses and sun hats.
“People with albinism, by nature of the lack of melanin and because they have little or no pigment in their skin, hair and eyes, are sensitive to the sun. Their skin becomes dry very quickly. This is why they need a constant supply of sun screen, lip balm, sunglasses and hats to protect them from the sun. People with albinism also have a high risk of getting skin cancer,” said Deputy Minister at the opening of the Child Protection Week Campaign in June.
The play Mama, I Want the Black That You Are stars Puleng Molebatsi, Regina Ndlovu, Ntsoaki Mathiba, Harriet Manamela and Alister Mbuso Dube.
Source: Government of South Africa