6 women with albinism climb Kilimanjaro

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 11 October 2018 Tags:, , ,

Six women with albinism set out to summit Mount Kilimanjaro on Monday 1 October. Hailing from various parts of Africa, they embarked on this campaign to raise awareness for people suffering discrimination and violence because of their rare skin condition.

Albinism is a genetic condition affecting melanin production, which pigments or gives colour to the skin, hair and eyes.

According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the women felt that the trek up Kilimanjaro was symbolic of their everyday challenges in society because of their albinism.

Although only one of the party, Ms Nodumo Ncomanzi of Zimbabwe, reached the top of Uhuru Peak on Sunday 7 October, the group was extremely proud of their efforts and endurance, as well as the awareness they raised under the campaign name, ‘Climb for Albinism’. ‘I am proud to be a woman with albinism who stood at Uhuru Peak,’ Ncomanzi told Business Insider.

 

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From #TeamC4A Climber, Nodumo Ncomanzi, our banner bearer on Africa’s highest peak!! “I cried uncontrollably when I reached Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro. I carried my teammates in my heart,and there are no words to describe the pride and admiration I feel for each woman I climbed this m a s s i v e mountain with. We were so tested (hello, tears). None of us had ever been so exposed to sunlight, so vulnerable because of our low vision, so physically challenged by an unfamiliar environment, so aware of our albinism. But we all reached above 4000meters on this 5895meter beast. And I’m privileged to be the one who held our banner on the roof of this continent. Climb for Albinism is our way to normalize the hypervisibility of persons with albinism, from a platform neither you nor I thought we would ever reach. I can’t believe what we accomplished these last 7 days. This is only the foundation of our work in disrupting how very comfortable society is with the prejudices which persons with albinism live through all too often. We did it #TeamC4A 😭❤ #WeMoveMountains”

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Artist and performer Regina Mary Ndlovu was part of this vibrant cohort of activists. No stranger to the varying shades of abuse and ostracism facing many albino individuals in her native Zambia, and her life now in South Africa, Ndlovu has found her voice and empowerment on the stage through singing and acting.

Regina Mary and the triumphant Nodumo were joined by Kenyan activist Jane Waithera, Dr Onyinye Edi (Nigeria), Mariam Staford (Tanzania) and Senegalese musician Maah Koudia Keita.

 

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The team is confident that this climb is just the beginning of their social activism.

 

Featured thumbnail image is sourced from climbforalbinism.org.