- Zimbabwe held its first Miss Albinism beauty pageant
- The pageant aims to tackle the stigma attached to the condition
- In some parts of Africa, people with albinism are being persecuted
In a bid to fight the stigma attached to albinism, Zimbabwe held its first Miss Albinism beauty pageant.
Albinism is a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.
In certain parts of Africa, people with the condition are being persecuted and killed because they are presumed to be cursed and bring bad luck, while in some African countries they are being kidnapped or sold by their relatives because they believe some body parts of persons with albinism could transmit magical powers.
Thirteen students participated in the beauty pageant titled “Beauty beyond the Skin” held in a nightclub in Harare on Friday, March 16. Aside from answering questions, the candidates modeled arrange of gowns and traditional African robes.
A 22-year-old student, Sithembiso Mutukura, beat the other contestants to become Zimbabwe’s first “Miss Albnism.” She took home $85 as cash prize.
“We must continue to advocate for our rights and I hope my win will empower the girl child. I have gone through a lot, but I want people living with albinism to be brave and persevere in life,” the social work student said.
According to Times Live , pageant organizer Brenda Mudzimu said she hopes to make the pageant an annual international event.
“This will be an annual event which will later be advanced to Miss Albinism Africa and Miss Albinism World because we want to reach all corners of the world,” she said.