Navigating Adversity: A journey of hope leading to triumph

Navigating Adversity: A journey of hope leading to triumph

When Tambirai Blessing Maruta (21) was born, the doctor saw something different about him right away. His skin was pale, and his hair and eyes were a light shade of brown. He had albinism, a condition that affects the body’s ability to produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin, hair, and eyes their color.

With determination and commitment he never let his skin color be an an obstacle to pursue a university education.

“Reflecting on my journey thus far, marked by numerous fluctuations and challenges, being born with albinism presents its own set of difficulties.”

Over the past decades, pervasive myths have shrouded individuals with albinism, leading to horrifying practices such as the use of their body parts for rituals. It is disheartening that these myths persist despite the reality that people with albinism are equal members of society, just like any other human being. In many regions across Africa, particularly in remote areas, the abhorrent practice of killing people with albinism continues unabated. This gross violation of their fundamental human rights deprives them of their right to life and demands urgent action to address this appalling injustice.

Against considerable challenges, Tambirai remains resolute in pursuing his dreams. Unfortunately, financial constraints have emerged as a significant obstacle to his educational journey. Expressing his predicament, he shared, “My current challenges revolve around finances. After completing my exams in 2022, I intended to progress to 2.1, but due to financial constraints, I had to put my educational pursuits on hold.

Currently enrolled at Zimbabwe Open University, Tambirai is dedicated to studying media and journalism. He aspires to become a trailblazing environmental journalist in Africa, aiming to debunk stereotypes surrounding albinism. He emphasized, “I want to prove that it’s only skin deep, and individuals with albinism can excel too.” Supported by his family and friends, Tambirai finds solace and encouragement. Contributing to a local school magazine (Odel) by writing and publishing articles further uplifts his spirits.

Despite his personal challenges, Tambirai hopes for broader societal support. He appeals to the government, local communities, and corporations to aid individuals with albinism, recognizing the unique difficulties they face. He stressed,

“As students and individuals with albinism, we require counseling, social support, assistance from various organizations – whether governmental or non-governmental. Obtaining essentials like spectacles and lotions is financially burdensome, especially when coupled with the costs of education. It is crucial for people to understand and accept us as human beings, providing the encouragement needed to achieve our goals.”

Undeterred, he remains steadfast in his commitment to share his compelling story with the world. With optimism, he envisions completing his degree and aspires to become an exemplary writer, driven by the belief that he will stand out as the very best.

Lisca Philo

Lisca Philo is a female journalism and media student from Zimbabwe Open University. She is a debater and a writer and was also once selected as the vice president of web of life which is a SAYWHAT group of young ladies, teaching about SRHR related things. Voted to be student representative secretary for special needs at Zimbabwe Open University in 2023.. Believes in fighting issues within societies to do with poverty, disability , GBV, drug abuse, and sexual harassment. . Also encouraging development and respecting people's objective from different backgrounds and walks of life

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