Sad Tales of Albinos-Nobody wants to marry us, employers reject us
Posted by Vanviki O. Victor
“I am my parents’ only child. I learnt their marriage ended abruptly the moment my mother gave birth to me as an albino. In fact, I learnt my mother screamed, Eh! Afin ni mo bi (Ha, I gave birth to an albino) when she saw me.
“While they were busy denying me and fighting over who would take care of me, my grandmother took me away from them,” Obafemi said with a note of sadness.
Growing up was also not easy for Obafemi as he helplessly endured the constant discrimination meted against people like him.Obafemi recalled his tough experience in school. His bad sight affected his learning in school even when he sat in front of the class.
“I wasn’t seeing things clearly and I couldn’t afford to buy reading glasses. I had to rely on my classmates so I could copy from their notes but they often treated me with disdain. Nobody wanted to move close to an albino.
“Thank God I was brilliant, it was when they saw that I was very good that they came close to me, not because they liked me but they knew I would always solve questions for them so they could pass.”
“The pains, humiliation and rejection I went through before I could graduate are things I don’t like to remember. It is now more painful that nobody wants to employ me because of my skin and some employers even make jest of me.
“There was a time I applied for a job, and having seen my application, I was invited to write a test. When I got there, one of the interview panel members said, ‘So you are an albino, don’t worry; we will invite you some other time.’
“When I later got a job as a civil servant, I had to learn painting to augment my meagre income and even when people want to give me job, some people would say I wouldn’t see very well because of my eyes. They say I would paint green instead of blue. I lost many jobs because of that too but I got few on compassionate grounds
“There was a day I went to apply for a security job, I was asked by the company officials how I would see people coming in and I told them I was not blind. But they told me that I was the one who needed security instead, not for me to be a security man.”
“Thankfully, I have a nine-year-old son now, who is not an albino, but the family of his mother didn’t allow me to marry her because I was an albino and they said I wasn’t rich enough. However, I am happy I have one already, but I wish I was not an albino, because life would have been easier for me, like others,” he added
“When I complained to my mother that I didn’t see things on the board, she didn’t really know what to do. My mother went to plead with my teacher to allow me to sit in front but that didn’t solve the problem.
“I was able to finish primary school because one of my teachers would sit beside me and read the questions to me during exams, but there was no such help when I got to a public secondary school that my parents could afford.
“In JSS1, one of my teachers would always tell me to go and sit at the back because she said I was too tall to sit in front. Even when I tried to explain why I needed to sit there, she wouldn’t listen. And my own sight was so bad that I could put number one in two sometimes. When I became so disturbed about everything, I stopped schooling, more so that I couldn’t afford the pair of glasses that would have aided my sight.”
“While I was going out to look for job, it was like fire was burning my skin each time I was in the sun until I was forced to start selling things. I still want to go to school and I don’t want to lose hope, but I feel very bad that I am an albino because my education has suffered for it and that is a huge loss for me. I wish I was not an albino but what can I do?” she lamented
“Even when I know I am qualified for a job, I don’t get it and some even say it to my face that an albino cannot do their kind of work. Albinism does not affect our intelligence, we are not blind, it is just the skin colour and our sight. I believe in myself and I know I will make it because I won’t give up,” she lamented.
“I feel unlucky and unfortunate being an albino and I will never marry an albino or someone with the gene because that would be double tragedy. It is not because there is something wrong with albinos, I am an albino, but the discrimination has made it a problem.
“I am at the moment an office secretary somewhere and I do another free job because some don’t even want me in the first place, so I forced myself to be there so I could be actively engaged even if I am not being paid. I like to practise what I studied, but nobody wants to give albinos a chance. But I won’t stop searching in spite of the frustration.“If I struggled to go to school with my short sightedness and graduated with a Second Class Upper division and I still do not get a job because of my colour, that is not a thing of joy. I am sad. Now I want to do my Master’s programme if that would help, but I don’t have the money.”
“That I’m an albino may be a factor, but I don’t want to think that way. I don’t even like to think about it so that it doesn’t compound my problem, and the reason why you don’t see many albinos at the top is because of the adversities that we face. Those who are not strong-willed tend to lose hope and withdraw their efforts.
“I once considered suicide when the adversities and rejection became so severe; but I chose to face it headlong. When one is pushed beyond some limit, a reaction like suicide could flash through the mind.”
“Presently, I have O’ level and I have been looking for a job to support myself to further my education but I have been turned down everywhere I go, even if it is a menial job. It’s frustrating. My father does not have enough to support me to study to a higher level, so I want to help myself and supplement whatever they give to me but people don’t want to employ an albino.
“Because of the rejections here and there, I do ask myself if they don’t want us to live. Even women discriminate against us. By the time you don’t have a job, everybody avoids you and nothing seems to be working in your favour, what is there to live for.”
“At 44 now, I don’t have a girlfriend because they don’t want to come close to me. I was dating a lady sometime ago, but the moment the mother saw me, the instant disapproval on her face was too obvious that I didn’t even wait for her to say it. But I will keep trying until I have a job and married.
Fair skinned and very beautiful, when she got to Lagos from the village, and was slowly reconciling herself with the trauma that had flooded her small world, she committed the unexpected crime: She gave birth to albinos — a phenomenon that runs contrary to the culture in her husband’s village.
She had hope of continuing her education someday even though the possibility was not very bright initially when she had her first son, a male with black complexion, but when the second and third children came and they were albinos, hell was let loose by the husband’s family, who not only made sure she was divorced, but also subjected the children to utter discomfort and trouble.
“I was 10 when I lost my mum and my dad died when I was 14. I was about registering for junior WASSCE when my grandfather died and that is why I don’t have my Junior School Certificate till date because I wrote the exam on credit. Instead of these relatives to help with my exam fees, they were in a hurry to give me out in marriage, and they did.”
“There was no love between us, he never proposed to me and I never knew him. I was a virgin when I was given to him and I never knew anything about sex or relationship before then, so the pains I went through still haunt me till today.
“He handled me as if I was inconsequential, while I became pregnant a year after we arrived Lagos. I was only 17. I wanted to go to school, but he deceived me and told me that I would be kidnapped if I did, and because of the magnitude of the fear he had implanted in me, I could not summon enough courage to run away. I wish I had, even if I was going to die, because now I live in regret and poverty.”
“They told me that it was forbidden to have an albino in their tradition, and when I had mine, his family members accused me of bringing an albino, a forbidden genre of people in their culture, to their home.
“Eventually, he threw my things out, he didn’t allow me to sleep in the house, and I had to sleep in the kitchen every night. As if that was not enough, he locked me out and took the children to his village where his family members made him swear to an oath that he would never allow me to step into his house again. When he was returning to Lagos, they organised another woman for him. The woman left when she couldn’t cope with his attitude.“My husband threatened to bathe me with acid if he sees me around, all because I gave birth to albinos.”
“The children are with him because I don’t have a house. I sleep in a church at the moment. I only go to see them on weekends to give them food that can last them for a week.
“I am not an albino. I didn’t grow up to see any albino in my family, we are only fair skinned, which is not even close to albinism, but they have an albino in their lineage. They have shifted the entire blame on me. I wish my parents didn’t die that early, because all these wouldn’t have happened if they had been alive.”
“On a particular occasion after I was sent out of the house leaving my children behind, my husband’s sister came around. One day, she dipped my first son’s buttocks in hot water because they accused him of stealing a belt, leaving his buttocks severely burnt. When he managed to call me and I got there, I took off his trousers to see the extent of the damage. What I saw was shocking! My son’s flesh was gummed to the trousers and it peeled as I tried to remove the trousers. I had to take him to the hospital where the trousers were removed.“As if that was not enough, the woman also gave pepper and hot water to my first albino child to swallow, and stood on him, all in a bid to torment him. I regret everything that has happened to me. I would have been able to escape if not for my children but now I’m stuck, all because I gave birth to albinos.
“I never entertained inferiority complex and I mixed with everybody, attended parties and even joined the Kegites Club in school, and I was committed to my work, so there was no way anybody would malign me. I always dress well because I understand the perception of people about my skin colour, so if I dress well, people would respect me. There is already a minus for us, so looking bad makes it worse.”
Culled from Punch
About Vanviki O. VictorCall me Vanviki O. Victor. A Psychologist, Blogger, Publicist, Artiste and the Young Tycoon who's behind Ozara Gossip. I rep ohaozara - ozara gossip; The online information broadcaster from the desert, bringing you half of all the latest gist in entertainment, sports, movies, music, politics, events, comedy, fashion and lifestyle. LET'S CONNECT ON: Twitter @ozaragossip Facebook @ozaragossipTV Linkedin @ozaragossip
Posted on December 27, 2014, in lifestyle, marriage, social gossip and tagged Albinos, Building Technology, discrimination, employers, job opportunity, Lagos state, Tola Banjoko, Yaba College of Technology. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.