International Albinism Awareness Day is celebrated annually on June 13 to celebrate the human rights of persons with albinism worldwide.
As usual this year’s celebrations will be held this Saturday on 13th June 2020 and we would like to celebrate the few people who have stood up to fight for and restore hope and self esteem amongst people with albinism.
Our personality of the week is Ms. Mayimuna Naggita, a young Human Rights Activist in Uganda who is committed on restoring hope, self-esteem, dignity and exploring talents of people living with albinism.
“Often people living with the albinism condition are subject to stigma, rejection and even violence, when you come to Africa, the situation is worse due to beliefs in witchcraft which has led to the creation of myths surrounding people with albinism – one being that their body parts bring luck”- Naggita starts our interview.
Naggita is the brain behind the soon to be launched project “I’m albino, I am talented” a project aiming at working with people living albinism and the general public to discover and showcase the hidden talents of albinos in Uganda.
The project will improve the lives of albinos with educational and medical assistance so that they may live safe, accepted, and prosperous lives in the society. She is campaigning for funding to help raise awareness of the issues affecting people with albinism and to promote their talents through a sustainable manner.
The project will be launched by holding “Miss Albino Uganda” pageant to show the world that beauty has got no definition or boundaries.
Born in 1995 in Mukono district, east of Kampala the Capital of Uganda. Naggita is the founder of Women and Youth Platform for Action Uganda (WAYPA), a community based organization that envisions a society with self-reliant young women and men.
“My drive for fighting for women’s rights started when I was doing my counselling and guidance internship at the probation office in Mukono, I realized women were victims of various forms of injustices, sexual harassment, domestic violence, land rights denial, forced child marriages, marriage issues among others”- she narrates
Naggita has been part of different organizations that fight for marginalized people’s rights and she has engaged herself in many projects from village to national level and she has attended many trainings to strengthen her capacity.
“My turning point came in June 2019 , when I met a young girl with an albinism condition, who was seated on the block alone, while watching the rest of the children play, I tried to talk to her but she seemed shy, but after several trials, she opened up and we had a great day together, this got me thinking. Going back home, I chose to learn more about people with that condition by watching videos and reading which got me so attached to them. I realized they face many challenges like discrimination, failure to provide for their skin products which are expensive for most of them to afford among others, this triggered me to come up with a project that empowers albinos through discovering and showcasing their talents”- she told us.
Mayimuna Naggita wants to break the barriers by working towards an inclusive community that is free from discrimination against different groups of people. She wants to paint the love to albinos because they are human, able and mortal just like you.
Albinism is a genetic condition inherited from both parents that occurs worldwide, regardless of ethnicity or gender. To ameliorate the plight of individuals with albinism in Uganda, a coordinated effort must be inclusive, it should be encouraged that society establish measures to support albinos and their families.
“Personality of the Week” is a weekly feature to identify, highlight and recognize the leadership and contribution of various people in our communities from various sectors, brought to you with support from Impactful Life Initiative.
As told to: Isaac Ssamba
Coordinator of Impactful Life Initiative (ILI) a project of GVA Foundation – Africa & The Scribe News, created to support and recognize change makers in our societies who are social entrepreneurs, innovators, business leaders, policy makers, and activists.