By: Palesa Makanyane
Hundreds of people living with albinism went missing while some were murdered for their body parts in South Africa. This is one of the reasons James Mohlala from Ga-Mohlala, Mamone started a project to help raise awareness about albinism.
Mohlala lives in an area where people did not understand the cause of albinism and how it should be treated. He felt it was his call to stand and educate people about it. “I want to change the stigma of illiterate people claiming that albino’s body parts make medications. Albinos are humans like us; they are only living with a rare disease that affects the production of melanin, they are born without colour on their bodies,” he said.
During his research, he realised that many albinos in Jane Furse are struggling to purchase the right products for their skin. He started a project to buy them sunscreen and after sun products. Mohlala along with the help of Melo kuhle foundation, donated sunscreen products to the few they know in Jane Furse areas. However, he donates food parcels also with continuous visits to ensure their safety. He adds, “Their skin is their life and if it’s damaged by the sun, it leads to skin cancer.”
Albinos have special schools but Mohlala feels they only make the children feel more different than others. He then contacted Kgaladi Primary school to accommodate learners with albinism. So far the school has 2 albino learners which is an improvement to the future. “Let us protect the lives of albino people” Mohlala concludes and continue to look forward to donating more to his people.