NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A groundbreaking beauty pageant for people with albinism has encouraged confidence and inclusion for people who remain the target of sometimes deadly stigma in Africa.
The first Mr. and Miss Albinism East Africa pageant on Friday night in Kenya’s capital saw participants from Tanzania and Uganda as well.
Elizabeth James of Tanzania says she was forced to change schools as a child when people, staring and pointing, started trailing her home.
She called for an end to the ignorance that drives some to kill people with albinism for their body parts or even dig up graves in the misguided belief that they will bring wealth and good fortune.
“The threat has reduced greatly, but it’s still there,” she says.