The albino hell in Malawi

June 13 is the International Day of awareness about albinism. Which means that organizations that struggle daily throughout the world to improve the conditions and quality of life of people who have this genetic condition unite to raise the voice in defense of this collective so discriminated, stigmatised and Pursued in all our societies.

One of the many forgotten tragedies in Africa is that of people with albinism. Regardless of the health problems they suffer, which are many, their situation is dramatic: discriminated against, persecuted, mutilated, murdered …

Nobody knows how many albinos and albinos there are in Africa. So the figures are usually indicative. To give a few examples, in Zambia there are 25,000; in Zimbabwe there will be an estimated 70,000; in Tanzania it could be 35,000, while in Malawi it would be around 10,000… And all, in addition to suffering from the same disease, live under the constant threat of being kidnapped and killed. So the destiny of many has been to live in hiding all their lives.

In Malawi people with albinism confront the constant threat of being murdered to obtain members of their bodies, in a country where the vast majority of the macabre crimes made in this collective are not resolved, much less they punish and where the Their authorities that have to reform the judicial and penal system to protect people with albinism.

The cases are not isolated thousands of people with albinism and their families live in a continuous suspicion in Malawi, and terror affects both children and adults, in a society in which there is the myth that bones or certain parts of the body of these people attract the Wealth or are of a magical nature, so there is a trade with the parts of these bodies to make witchcraft.

While groups advocating albinism have begun to emerge in southern Africa, there is a lot of work to be done to break the superstitions and myths that surround them. For example, the popular belief is that they cannot study because they do not have intelligence, they cannot be touched because they infect you with their disease and it is even said that albinos do not die, they disappear because they are not humans but spirits…

And one of the big concerns is international inaction in the face of a human tragedy that transcends the worst of nightmares. The body parts of an albino person are priced: hair, bones, genitals, limbs… reaching 70,000 euros for «a whole albino!» In the hands of a wizard, the body parts of an albino can make the client rich or cure him of diseases such as AIDS.

Something needs to be done. Petits Músics del Món has proposed, for the time being, to make this reality known throughout Catalonia. It’s a small drop of water in the ocean… But as they say, every long journey – and this one will be – begins with a step.


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