Published on January 17th, 2016 | by lawilink1
MALITA CHIPESO’S STORY
OPENNESS CURB STIGMA
Albinism is the lack of melanin which causes the person’s skin to be pale. However African countries including Malawi have a lot of myth’s surrounding people with albinism. The misconceptions include, using the albinos’ body parts for enrichment and the cleansing of the people living with HlV and AIDS. As well as that albinism is associated with witchcraft.
Currently people living with albinism are living in fear and indoors due to the discrimination, abductions and killings they are experiencing.
Malita Chipeso, one of the people living with albinism, is exceptional. Malita Chipeso is a divorced young woman who has two children and hails in Phalombe district. She struggles to farm and do some piece work which dose not even generate her enough money for all the necessities she needs in her every day life. Early this year she was being discriminated ageist and abused by people related to her.
Malita’s relatives never wanted to associate with her due to the myth they had towards people with albinism, to the extent that they toke her own children. “Am from an extended family but everyone in the family including my kinsmen discriminated me. They never wanted me to be dwelling with them. They even snatched away my own children and since then I was living a very lonely life,” Malita Said.
One night when the situation got worse Malita Chipeso had to run and spent the night in the bush. That is when she decided to open up and confide in her pastor at the church for whatever she was passing through. The pastor took the matter to the village headman where they discovered that the case was unlawful and it violated one’s human rights.
Malita confirmed that the case was later reported to the police station. “The police real helped because they came to meet my kinsmen and advised them that all the misconceptions they had towards me were false and that we are all equal despite of color differences. The police also warned them that if they continue their malpractices they will be arrested because it is against the constitution. Am now amused because we are living happily as before and they gave me back my lovely children,” she said.
However, Malita Chipeso urged all the disadvantaged people as well as women that they shouldn’t hide the challenges and the discrimination they are going through because of their status. Rather they should open up to someone they trust whether the police or the Non governmental organization for them to be helped and enjoy the life without stigma.
By Fatsileni Asamu