Today is International Albinism Awareness Day, a day to celebrate albinos across the world and identify with them. Here’s how Founder of Massmediang, Dr. Chinenye Nwabueze celebrates with persons with albinism across the world. Read the message below.
Well, I decided that this is the best day for me to come out and let the world know whom I really am. All my life I’ve been longing for a day to experience freedom as an albino. To know that I was a lecturer for 15 years and none of my students or colleagues knew I was albino is very interesting. I told myself I’ll wait until I left the school system before revealing this to the world and this was because of the strong stigma I saw that was existing in the society against albinos. I felt the time is now that I’m on my own, working for Massmediang.com, the most authoritative website on media issues and communication education in Nigeria.
To all my ex-students who felt I was a good teacher but never knew I was an albino, I do not know how you’re feeling now reading this and finding out that I’m actually albino, that the best lecturer you came in contact with is albino. If you’re reading this and feeling a kind of sensation inside you, a kind of shock or disbelief, probably because you can’t imagine me being albino, then this message is also for you. What you’re experiencing is the innate stigma the society has against albinos. I believe after reading this and realizing that I am actually albino, it means that anytime you see an albino man or woman, boy or girl, you will definitely remember me and you will not stigmatize any of them because you now realize I am one of them.
This is who I am – a lovely albino with beautiful looks. No one ever knew. It was just two of my students back then, Casmir Onwa and Peter Omuta that found out once and vowed never to tell anyone. That was in 2013 when three of us went to Awka to produce our campus publication, Eagles Pilot newspaper. We were at the production venue till very late in the night and something happened. That was the very first time I ever I failed to take precaution and Casmir found out, and drew Peter’s attention to the shocking experience he had by discovering that their lecturer was albino. I calmed them down and explained to both of them what I have lived with all my life. Not even my kinsmen or anyone in my village knew about this. They understood and vowed never to let anyone know, that was after I promised to remain the staff adviser of the newspaper for as long as they were still in school.
Well, now I’m free to let the world know I am albino and I’m having fun being my natural self. I work for Massmediang.com where you get any information about the Nigerian media and communication education in the country. That’s why we are the first to break the news to the world. As I write this I remember the numerous albinos across the world that have been discriminated against in any form, or even killed for ritual purposes in some parts of Africa. The time to change that perception is now. Just try to find out what you would have looked like if you were born albino. Let us begin #albino me. That way you will realize they are also like you.
Today is International Albinism Awareness Day and the theme is “Made to Shine Against All Odds”. What a wonderful them. The best way to know how nice and normal it is to be albino is to find out what you would have looked like if you had come into this world an albino. You might even love your looks more than it currently is, just like I’m having fun now. Being albino is really wonderful. No need to stigmatize albinos and Massmediang family is celebrating International Albinism Awareness Day in this special way with all albinos in Nigeria and across the world. Just know that “I am in you also” and we are same. During my 15 years as a lecturer had two students that were albinos, a girl and a boy. They were really wonderful and every time I saw them in class I really missed my real body. Now I’m free to let the world know I’m albino and it is fun.
All you need to keep telling yourself as you read this and probably you’re getting shocked, just keep telling yourself “I say a big NO to discrimination against albinos.” By the time you say this a few times your shock will disappear and I’ll be normal to you even as an albino. You will get used to knowing me as albino, and anytime you see albino in the society you will surely remember me and treat that albino like you would treat me. SAY NO TO DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ALBINOS.
If you came to this blog to read the last paragraph just to know when I first found out that I was albino and what my students saw that night, well “I don catch you”. This is the best way to celebrate the International Albinism Awareness Day. Lovely way for Massmediang.com to do that. I love my body the way it is. Just remember to “say no to discrimination against albinos”.