The plight of people living with albinism was revealed in a new play Mama I Want The Black That You Are which was staged at the Joburg Theatre on 4 May.
This play depicts the challenges and the myths that people living with this condition are faced with on a daily basis, including the mutilations of their bodies and brutal killings. The play was launched at the theatre by producer and TV actor, Mpho ‘Fats’ Molepo and was attended by ministers, Nathi Mthethwa and Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu.
According to Molepo, the concept was first started in the 1990s by his father Arthur Molepo, a veteran actor, with the help from the National Arts Council. However the play never had a proper season and was featured merely in festivals.
“All along we’ve been knocking on the doors to get assisted until Bogopane-Zulu welcomed us and assisted with the launch,” said Molepo also thanking Mthethwa for funding the launch.
Bagopane-Zulu said she supports the play because this is a subject that is close to her heart and that people living with albinism have the same rights as everybody else. The minister said they had launched a campaign called #Talkaboutus which seeks to address the daily plight of people living with albinism. She called on all South Africans to support this campaign and added, “In the spectrum of dignity, as government, we have to come up with adequate laws that will not discriminate against people living with albinism.
“We expect all South Africans to say enough is enough because the brutality is becoming too much now, in the country as well as in the rest of the continent.”
Nomasonto Mazibuko from the Albinism Society of South Africa said the safety of people living with albinism is being threatened. “They’re hunted… Some of them even sleep with pangas under their pillows because they’re not even safe in their own homes. We need policies that will change the mindset of people in general,” she said.
Mazibuko said that they will be celebrating World Albinism Day for the first time in South Africa on 13 June and she invited all to celebrate it under the theme ‘Mama I Want The Black That You Are’. She also thanked Molepo for producing the play and Mthethwa for ensuring that the Friday launch took place.
Mthethwa said the play is part of the government’s nation-building programme adding that it comes at the right time as they just launched Africa Month with other African states’ leaders. He also said that the government will continue with a programme and help fight with ‘vigour’ for the people living with albinism just as they fought against apartheid.
Details: Joburg Theatre 011 877 6800.