Hidden for 22 years

02 August 2019 | Local News

A 35-year-old woman from Mazana village in Kavango East says she was hidden by her parents for 22 years, because she was born with albinism.

Speaking at an albinism stakeholder engagement at Rundu yesterday, Claudia Mwira David said she was born in 1984, but the first time she interacted with the people was in 2006, when she started her albinism treatment.

Albinism is a congenital disorder characterised by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.

David said her parents would keep a close eye to make sure she didn’t leave the house, and when people visited, she was hidden away.

“I grew up with my parents, who kept me indoors all the time. I could not go out of the house, and when people came to our house, I had to go and hide in a room, not to be seen,” she narrated.

David said those who were aware of her condition, especially the neighbours, would not visit their house because of cultural beliefs and myths attached to people born with albinism.

“People would not come to our house, which is why my parents had to try by all means to hide my existence from society.”

David explained that at the age of 22, when her skin condition worsened, she had to go for treatment, which resulted in her visiting a hospital, where she experienced society’s rejection first-hand.

When asked how she felt at that time, she said she had low self-esteem and opted to live in isolation.

She said society still discriminates against her, as there are some people who opt not to eat from the same plate as hers or even engage with her.

Her father, Ndumba Mwira David (70) confirmed her story.

Ndumba said they had no alternative, apart from keeping their daughter hidden from society.

He said at the time people were strong believers in cultural beliefs and myths, and they therefore did what they felt was best.

“People in the community were against us having a child born with albinism, therefore in order to be accepted in the community, we had to do what we did, because it was the best option we had at the time,” Ndumba said.

When asked how he feels now that his daughter is able to move freely in society, Ndumba said he is happy, adding the situation has become more acceptable, because the number of people born with albinism has increased in the community.

Ironically, one of their neighbours, who strongly rejected David, also later gave birth to a child born with albinism.

Ombudsman, John Walters, who is spearheading the public hearings on discrimination and the challenges faced by people living with albinism, said a lot still needs to be done to sensitise Namibians.

Walters said his office has realised that citizens have limited knowledge on what albinism is and what challenges people living with the condition face.

Walters added that because government recognises albinism as a form of disability, broader society needs to be made aware of issues related to the condition.

“We see them amongst us, but we are not aware of what they go through. This is why we try to learn the experiences of the people themselves and then come up with awareness campaigns,” Walters said.

Public hearings have taken place at Oshakati, Eenhana, Okongo and Rundu, with another hearing scheduled for Monday in Windhoek.

Justice ministry chief legal officer Ruusa Ntinda spoke out strongly against people with albinism using products, such as the dye to change the colour of their hair.

She also spoke out against the use of hair relaxers, saying the contents of these products are too strong for the skin of someone with albinism, which can result in skin cancer.

On the issue of artificial hair, Ntinda advised them to use any colour except black, as it attracts heat and can also cause cancer.

A group of people living with albinism, who attended the workshop, were all given suncare products after the event.

KENYA KAMBOWE

Similar News

 

Otamu shunithilwa iilonga yeni – Kawana

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Local News

Kawana okwa popi kutya okwa pewa elombwelo kOkabinete opo a kwashilipaleke kutya ayehe mboka ya kanitha iilonga yawo oya mona iilonga, na okwa popi ngaaka...

Cops warn about water safety

2 days ago - 12 December 2019 | Local News

The police have urged the public to take proper safety precautions when swimming or crossing rivers and floodplains.The warning was issued after a boy drowned...

Ompangu ya ekelehi oshipotha shoNamRights

2 days ago - 12 December 2019 | Local News

Ehangano lyoNamRights olya popi kutya itali ka thiga emanya lya londa kekwawo moonkambadhala okupataneka etokolo lyOmpangu yoPombanda, ndyoka lya holola kutya ehangano ndyoka kali na...

Tu gameneni po ombili yetu okupitila maakuluntu oshowo omithigululwakalo...

2 days ago - 12 December 2019 | Local News

Mesiku moka kwa dhimbulukiwa, Esiku lyUuthemba wOmuntu, Omukokoli Presidende Sam Nujoma pamwe nosheendo she oya talelepo Omukwaniilwa gwaNdonga, Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo mOmbala ye...

Improve living conditions - Walters

3 days ago - 11 December 2019 | Local News

Over 900 000 Namibians living in shacks, an unrelenting hepatitis E outbreak, skyrocketing youth unemployment and the stigmatisation of gays and lesbians is an indictment...

Power to the people!

3 days ago - 11 December 2019 | Local News

Residents of Okalevona location at Oniipa are the beneficiaries of free electricity and Wi-Fi, thanks to Finnish research project Fusion Grid, which aims to find...

Omahogololo gaaleli yiikandjohogololo otaga ningwa muJanuari

3 days ago - 11 December 2019 | Local News

Oshikanohogololo oshititano itashi ka ninga omahogololo konima sho omunamimvo 53, Matheu Gabriel, omunambelewa gwelongo mOshitopolwa shaMusati, a tseyithwa kutya oye kansela omuhogololwa.Gabriel okwa yi pehala...

Uuministeli womalelo goondoolopa wa kunkilile aanapolotika

5 days ago - 09 December 2019 | Local News

Omunambelewa mUuministeli weyambulepo lyiitopolwa oshowo oondoolopa, Nghidinua Daniel okwa shanga omikanda dha nuninwa Aanambelewa Aakuluntu yOondoolopa kombinga yehogololo yaanambelewa yomalelo goondoolopa. Omukanda gwotango ogwa...

Inaku ningwa omalunduluko melelo lyaMuthiya

5 days ago - 09 December 2019 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATO Ookansela melelo lyondoolopa yaMuthiya, inaya lundululwa poompito dhawo mpoka ya kala sha landula omahogololo gokomvula gokuhogolola aaleli ngoka ya...

Aanaskola 125 000 ya thigi po oskola mo 2017

5 days ago - 09 December 2019 | Local News

Momvula yo 2017, aanaskola ye li 44 245 oya thigi po ooskola moNamibia omanga ye li 125 394 ya endulula oongundu.Oyendji yomwaamboka ya...

Latest News

Rundu chaos engulfs Swapo again

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Politics

The same chaos that engulfed the Rundu town council office-bearers election late last year, which dragged on to earlier this year, is once again playing...

Intercape confirms terrifying bus robbery

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Crime

While confirming a terrifying incident in which Intercape passengers were robbed at gunpoint on their way to Harare, the bus company did not answer questions...

Action, not promises

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Opinion

Acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana's utterances on Wednesday in Walvis Bay, where he addressed the fishing industry, must have come as music to the ears...

Erastus gets CEO nod

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Business

Licky Erastus has been appointment as the new CEO of Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC). Erastus had served as the company's acting CEO since June...

Dam levels still critical

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Disasters

While several dams have received inflows following good rains over the majority of the country, forecasts indicate that most parts of Namibia can expect only...

N$100k fine for ivory possession

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Crime

A man has been sentenced to a fine of N$100 00 or four years in prison for illegal possession of four elephant tusks. Bangorogile Motsokwe...

Students accuse Schlettwein of 'sabotage'

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Education

The Students' Union of Namibia (SUN) has accused finance minister Calle Schlettwein of sabotage, saying he is yet to release monies to pay their tuition...

Hundreds of thousands food insecure

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT Namibia’s agricultural sector has been contracting for the past five years and rural households and small-scale farmers have been severely affected, with 700...

Rundu welcomes ACC probe

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Disasters

KENYA KAMBOWE Rundu mayor Isak Kandingu has responded to a letter circulating on social media which alleges that the Rundu town council illegally swapped land...

Load More