Descrimination against the albino community has been happening across the world for ages. Different names have been given by to the albino community, in Zimbabwe, ‘sope‘ a Shona name meaning possessed by the spirit while in Tanzania they are referred to as Zeru.

However, the world doesn’t judge their talents and skills that they have. Our reporter, Tapiwa Rubaya, caught up with the 26-year-old, Brian Makhubela, the South African reigning Mister Albinism. 

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They discuss about the discrimination they experience as the albinism community and the challenges that they are facing. Brian shares with us his path as Mister Albino SA.

TR: Can you briefly introduce us to your biography?

BM: My name is Brian Makhubela I’m a 26-year-old and I come from Mpumalanga the place of the rising sun.

I am an Ecotourism and Wildlife Management graduate at the Tshwane University of Technology and an artist.

TR: Congratulations for winning Mr. Albinism South Africa, last year. How has the pageant changed your life?

BM: My character has evolved ever since I won the pageant, I’m covering my wounds. I don’t ever want to see anyone go through things I’ve went through; I believe that a boy child needs a lot of attention in their upbringing especially if they’re different or have albinism as we know that albinism is misunderstood in the society. This tends to build anger and confusion leading to an identity crisis – this then leads to angry confusion little boy that tends to behave in certain way because of the rejection around him as he grows up.

TR: What are some of your achievements that you are proud of so far?

BM: I’ve worked with a lot of brands like Vodacom, Dstv, Superbalist, Magents, Afi, Khanyi Mbau and many more but the one achievement that is close to my heart is the Mr and Miss albinism South Africa title because I don’t take it as a gig; and it was a great feeling having to be crowned in front of my friends, family and all South Africans.

TR: You have been out and about in South Africa’s communities; can you tell us about your reachouts?

BM: We are doing provincial tours with the team along with other title holders trying to push to create brand awareness and encompass all the community in engaging with albinism. We have scheduled a few tours to a few countries in the continent.

TR: What’s you predict the future of Mr Albinism South Africa?

BM: The next title holder should be a person who’s passionate, relatable, and hard working hence they’ll be given tasks to do prior to the crowning night and this gives us an idea of what they’re capable of doing, and if they are fit to serve the people as well as addressing issues relating to albino community.

TR: Killings of the Albinism community has increased in Africa with cases are being reported every day. What type of campaigning are you doing to make sure that ends?

BM: I believe in the notion that says “prevention is better than cure” the campaigns that we are currently running are meant to stop the killings and myths about albinism. And we are achieving these through our national tours in educating the society.

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TR: Apart from killings and descrimination what other challenges does the Albinism community face in SA?

BM: People with albinism face challenges in the workplace because their needs are not taken seriously by their employers.

 I think after university or after they complete matric – people with albinism should also be educated about the type of facilities that they should work under, e.g., they’re going to be working with the computer their screen must be grayed out so that they can fully operate.

TR: What should African leaders do to protect the rights of Albinism community?

BM: African leaders should get more involved in combating the killings of persons living with albinism there’s a lot of initiatives taken like the launching of the Mr and Miss Albinism South Africa they should get more involved and finance the movement and and other organizations that share the same goals.

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TR: Your underwear photogenic picture with the House of Basil (HOB) has been trending. What inspired you to come up with the picture’s context?

BM: I’ve always wanted to show that I’m more than a face in many cases I’m only used as a muse for my colour and face, but I want to show that I am versatile and I’m an all-round model who has albinism. 

TR: Are you perhaps planning to jump the ship into being a commercial brand ambassador model?

BM: Yes, I’ve always wanted to be seen as a well-rounded model so commercial brand ambassador is the next level.

TR: South Africa is home of music what are your top four best tracks currently?

BM: (laughs) Ha-ha tricky but in no order, Camegu x Young Stunna, Kabza da small and Maphorisa, Grateful x Oscar Mbo, and Akosoze x Joyous Celebration ft Lungelo Hlongwani

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Tapiwa Rubaya

Tapiwa Rubaya is the current affairs, fashion and sports reporter at My Afrika Magazine.

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