MEET ONOME AKINLOLU MAJARO WHOSE FOUNDATION IS DEDICTAED TO RAISING AWARENESS AROUND ALBINISM
Imagine being faced with discrimination in your own country because you were born with a congenital disorder that leaves you with no pigmentation making your skin look white, giving you pale blue eyes, blonde hair and also causes you to have rapid eye movements. This is what Albinos constantly go through in most African countries today.
As the world celebrates International Albinism Day today, let’s take a step back to celebrate and appreciate this beauty.
Onome Akinlolu Majaro a 28-year-old graduate of mass communication from the University of Lagos, is a mother of one, public relations expert and co-founder of the Onome Akinlolu Majaro (OAM) foundation. A foundation founded in October 2015 with the aim of breaking myths and ending the stigmatization against albinos.
For Onome, living with albinism was not always easy; according to her, she suffered so much humiliation through her childhood from her friends, peers and neighbours. There were times she would refuse to go to school because of the fear of being called derogatory names like ”yellow pepper, afin and Orisa (meaning small god).
In Nigeria, like most other African countries people living with this condition are estimated to be 2 million with over 600,000 facing discrimination from families, schoolmates and peers. While other countries like Tanzania, Burundi and Malawi, have reported high killing rate of albinos for ritual purposes because of their skin colour.
But for her, she discovered the only way she could survive in a society filled with myths about her condition was by developing a thick skin which was possible because of the constant support she received from family especially her mum who she describes as ”the pillar to her success.”
Starting the OAM foundation for Onome was a way of fighting for other persons living with albinism, to enlighten, empower and educate them. To help people understand that they were no different from every other dark or fair person, to get people aware that albinism was not contagious or as a result of incest and so far according to her, the response has been good.
The foundation is currently funded by her family but hopes that government puts in place policies that would be favourable to the albinos in the society and since Inception, OAM has reached out to over 2000 albinos with education, scholarships, free sunscreens, jamb forms and has paid lesson fees for them.
From team Flourish Africa we say well done and Happy international Albinism Day.