Supported by rock star, Madonna, meet Lazarus who is soon to become famous through a film about his life. Cooking with the albino group in Malawi (https://youtu.be/KtWv-awdX2s I learnt about the challenges they face and the success they achieve. With the pale skin and hair resulting from their albinism, these are people who stand out in Africa. Some people still think that they are ghosts or spirits; many have been attacked in the past, some killed and their bones dug up for export for ritual magic. Getting work is extra challenging especially as many have visual impairments too. Thank goodness that the Government of Malawi is taking action to help them with special creams that are reducing the risk of skin cancer.
But, like people everywhere, members of this group still have ambition, determination, motivation and lust for life. Take Virginia who has become a school teacher, influencing future generations to develop more inclusive attitudes. Although she recognises that not everyone is kind and understanding of her situation, she continues undaunted to make the very best of her talents.
Lazarus is made of the same stuff: he had been playing music at every opportunity to provide for his family – doing what he can do best. Now, with the help of Madonna, a film of his life and music is due for release. He’s already been featured on the BBC World Service and his star will continue to shine.
Who would have believed that just hoping to cook with local people in Malawi would have brought me such revelations? There is no end to the surprises and abilities of people all over the world. My thanks to everyone at the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi.