I have heard a lot about the abominable act of killing albinos and twins that are carried out in Nigeria, most especially in Eastern African countries like Tanzania. I have been taught and also read it in books that these gruesome practices have been the custom and tradition of these countries right from the beginning and it has been passed down from one generation to another. I also read online about the albinos killed and their bodies maimed for ritual purposes. Herbalists are believed to be the major purchasers of albinos’ lifeless bodies, which they offer as a sacrifice in exchange for more mystical powers in the dark world. Some ordinary men also kill albinos for money rituals, why some sold it out in exchange for a large amount of money. It has been reported that humans hunt and kill albinos, selling their already decapitated body parts to their fellow humans who are in need of it. This gruesome act has been a crime that has no legal backing. Apart from the fact that this act was supported by traditional laws, the social-cultural believes of many African societies influence the lackadaisical attitudes that the governmental officials show toward curbing the barbaric practice.
Black Africans in top governmental positions, blindfolded by their primitive traditional beliefs; government failed to take legal actions against this act by sanctioning all those who involve in the act through the use of their political powers.
“Arike!” Mother called from outside, disrupting me from what I was busily reading from a slightly rough newspaper. I grumbled; wondering what could be the reason behind the fuss at this delicate moment of reading the very interesting and educative piece. I held in a lot of grudges against her; for making me stay indoors right after getting home from school. She won’t just allow me to visit friends, holding a lot away from me; not telling me a thing about my Dad; his look, structure, and behaviors. I knew nothing about my relatives, my village. Hiding the truth from me while she knew she was just hurting my feelings. She knew she ought to have told me everything I needed to know, she truly owed me a lot.
I tried so hard to find my root, my hidden family, and my real village, but that seem to be a very difficult task for me since everyone I knew was just her, only her. She had been the one taking care of me, and as a child who knew not her Father, not any of her family, but only my mother. I had an unquenchable passion within me to go back to my village, to be among my people, to learn their languages and know more of their cultures; pity me, I was a child of no ethnic background.
I felt so ashamed of myself whenever my friends tell me interesting things about their families, most especially when they tell me how their father looks like, and how much they were loved by their distinctive cultural background. When it finally comes to my turn to tell them about mine, I racked my brain to make up some lame excuses, telling them the already framed lies in my brain about the father I knew nothing about and whenever I tried to raise the topic about my father whereabouts, asking my mother how he looks like, she always snub me, and sometimes beat me up with a strong whip, whipping my soft flesh off my body till blood gushed out, staining my dresses. She will then leave me in agony to weep in pains; tired and feeling useless. Life is not in any way fair to me.
That was not just the only humiliation I was passing through; I was so much hated by my school mates, and they usually stay away from me as if I was contaminated with deadly diseases. They sometimes attacked me verbally hurting my feelings, mocking me; laughing out loud at me, and telling me to my face how horrible I looked. I felt I was only given birth to, just to suffer because they were blacks with good-looking black hair, they are of true African figure but I was just a little girl of no race, an Albino.
to be continued…
Written by Agele Ayo