Zimbabwe crowns Miss Albino in bid to end stigma

HARARE - In a bid to combat stigma and discrimination against people with albinism, Zimbabwe has put on its Miss Albino pageant that saw a 22-year-old beautiful albino walking away with US$85. Sithembiso Mutukura beat 12 other contestants to claim the crown at Zimbabwe’s first-ever Miss Albinism beauty contest.According to her, the achievement will inspire others living with the rare disorder.

“We must continue to advocate for our rights and I hope my win will empower the girl child,” the 22-years old social work student said. Zimbabwe’s first Miss Albino Sithembiso Mutukura receives a bouquet of fl owers after receiving her crown during the inaugural Miss Albinism beauty contest. “I have gone through a lot, but I want people living with albinism to be brave and persevere in life.”

During the event in Harare on Friday night, the contestants had to respond to questions on stage and model a range of gowns and traditional African robes. Pageant organiser Brenda Mudzimu said a lack of funds had made it difficult to get the initiative of the ground.

In the end, the contest only attracted one sponsor, but Mudzimu says she hopes to one day make the event international. “This will be an annual event which will later be advanced to Miss Albinism Africa and Miss Albinism World because we want to reach all corners of the world,” she said.

In many African countries, people with albinism routinely face discrimination and persecution because of the way they look. -Maravipost/AP

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