Maseru- Being woman with albinism is not easy in Lesotho and many people with albinism face a lot of challenges. ’Malekhotla Mahooe is one of the many. She is however trying her best to skip the challenges and enjoy her own life.
A second born of three siblings now aged 25 year, Mahooe was born and raised in Roma, Ha-Lebamang in the outskirts of Maseru. She grew up like any other Mosotho child under the loving care of both her parents although she is the only one with albinism in the family. The love and support she has at home is beyond measure, she says.
Growing up she says she always felt inferior because of her skin pigmentation, which was visibly different from those of her peers who would call her names and make fun of her. The stigma attached to people with albinism forced her to accept who she was from when very young.
“I try hard to turn negatives into positives. Having a protective, supportive, loving and caring family and other people helped me to be where I am today,” Mahooe says. When in high school she reminisces “there was a girl who would not touch any of my things thinking she would turn albino if she did”. Being albino girl is not a walk in a park she says.
“Relationships with other people are challenging. It is even harder for romantic relationships. A lot of people believe people with albinism have innate luck, which I think is insane. So when a guy talks ‘love’ I sometimes feel like he came so he can get some luck for riches or success – not really for love. I may have trust issues because of the myths associated with albinism but I do wish to date. Who knows? Maybe someday I will find my soul mate and the love of my life.”
A graduate from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT), Mahooe believes one has to find something doing even though jobs are hard to come by. She has since started volunteering with a local radio station to avoid getting rusty as a new graduate.