In Tanzania: In a haven island albinos have found their voice

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Album cover of 'White African Power'  album

Through music, albinos in Tanzania have found a way to express their pain.

In the African country of Tanzania, albinism is very high.

It has one of the highest rates in the world. 1 out every 1,500 Tanzanians is an albino. Despite the high rate, albinos are not seen as ideal human beings.

Lack of education and intolerance have brought untold suffering to albinos in Tanzania including death. Superstitious beliefs have led to the killing of albinos in the Great Lakes region in Tanzania.

 

In some other countries, it is much worse. According to a UN report in 2016, albinos were facing a total extinction in Malawi.

For many albinos in Tanzania, Ukerewe Island in Tanzania, the largest inland island in Africa, is host to many albinos who were kicked out from their families or didn't want to end up dead for ritual purposes. The number of albino communities in this island is 75 according to AFP.

 

It is on this island that the albinos of Tanzania have found their collective voice. Grammy award winning music producer, Brennan, and his wife  Marilena Delli (filmmaker) visited the island recently. They came in collaboration with Standing Voice.

Brennan came to the island to give music workshops and record the albinos singing.  "They'd been denied even that basic freedom. The thing that is so shocking about that is that's the one area of free speech or emotional expression people have (always) been allowed. Even in times of slavery in America, there was often one or two hours a week when people were allowed to express themselves in worship" he told CNN.

 

From the sessions, the producer was able to make a group of 18 men and women between the ages of 24-57.

The result of the sessions is an album titled "White African Power"  released by Six Degrees. It was released before the  International Albinism Awareness Day (June 13).

The album reflects the stigmatisation that every day albinos in Tanzania go through.



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