Celebrities in South Africa have come together to denounce the growing trend of killing people living with albinism for medicinal purpose known as ‘muti’ by traditional healers – Sangomas.
According to pretoria-news, celebrity sangoma, actress Lerato Mvelase, and Skeem Saam soapie actor spiritualist Macks Papo (Marothi), on Saturday joined a campaign to denounce the killings which they described as evil.
This was during an event in Mamelodi, where traditional healers and the albino community converged to mark an end of the International Albinism Awareness Month.
On the day, the sangomas donated sunscreen and sun hats to express their care and love for the albino community.
Organiser Zandile Nkosi said the occasion gave sangomas like herself an opportunity to “give reassurance to the albinism community that a real sangoma would never use human body parts to heal”.
“The use of body parts is pure witchcraft, not healing,” she said.
Nkosi is the executive director of a traditional healers organisation called Sesiyakhula Njalo, which collaborated with a non-profit entity advocating for the rights of the albino community called Hands of Love for the event.
The initiative was a brainchild of the two organisations and it was hatched last year.
Mvelase said: “The albinism awareness initiative is one which Sesiyakhula Njalo should take nationally. Indeed, as traditional healers our work has been cut out. We are called to heal and that’s our main mandate from our ancestors.”
Papo encouraged people living with albinism to be bold and honest to themselves “because you are unique born, like everyone else. Always tell your story honestly, powerfully and authentically”.
Nkosi said: “People with albinism in South Africa must shine.
Sesiyakhula Njalo, a proudly sangoma organisation has been adding its voice to raise awareness around the plight of people with albinism especially in the area of muti killings.”
Leader of Hands of Love, Tshidi Selemela, who has a child living with albinism, denounced the negative attitudes projected towards them by some members of the society.
“You go out with your daughter and people would look at you as if there is something wrong happening,” she said.
She pleaded with people to reject the stigma attached to people living with albinism.
Also present was actress Nomsa Buthelezi, who said: “The world is your oyster. People may want to put you down but remember to follow your heart and follow people with big dreams. Live your dream because noma bangathi uyindlovu, oksalayo iyajika (even if they call you an elephant, what matters is that it turns).”