This is how Lindiwe defeated haters who bullied her for being born with albinism.
I’m Lindiwe (17), from Orange Farm. I was born with albinism. My skin doesn’t have pigmentation, which gives the skin its colour. From when I was young, people made fun of me. Others feared me, or looked at me like I was an alien. I was called names like umlungu, leswafi, pinky pinky or whitey. Strangers would come over to touch me because they believed that touching me would cure them from disease.
This made it hard for me to love myself as I am. I wished I looked like everyone so people would stop looking at me like I was some kind of freak.
But I refused to let people who were mean or ignorant about albinism bring me down. I realised that I had to love myself and stop feeling bad or insecure over what people thought about me.
I wasn’t always this confident. I was shy and scared to make friends because people with albinism were killed to make muti.
I became confident when I joined the drama, music, dance and drawing clubs at school. There, I made friends who accepted me for who I am. Even though they didn’t have albinism, some of them used to struggle with their confidence and had a hard time accepting their looks because they had pimples or their bodies were changing. They made me feel loved as I am, and boosted my confidence. They also fought for me when I was bullied. I also got to realise that every girl is unique and that we all have our own insecurities...even the smartest or most beautiful girl you know doesn’t always feel confident.
Now when I see a girl who is a little shy, or teased for well, being human, like getting pimples, I encourage them to reach out to their family and friends. They are a great source of support and can talk to you when you’re feeling down. Love and accept themselves as you are — we are all beautiful in our own way.