They’re called zeroo zeroo, ‘ghost people’.
However, in their own country, they are less than people. Tanzania is the worst place in the world to be born with albinism. WHO estimates put the country’s albino population at 300,000. These people are vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancers but the strong African sun is not the only threat they face. The worst danger are other people.
The Tanzanian belief in the magical properties of the albinos leads witch doctors to make potions from their flesh, which are supposed to bring luck and wealth. It’s a lucrative business and the albino people have become prey, with women and children being especially at risk. The only solution of the government is placing albino children in special enclosed facilities.
Albinism is a genetic condition whereby the hair, skin and iris of the sufferer have no pigmentation – they don’t produce melanin. The worst enemy of people with albinism is the sun as they get instantly sunburned and are vulnerable to skin cancers. It is not known why the disease is so frequent in Tanzania; what is known, however, is that a lot of albino people here die before they’re 30. In Tanzania, the strong sun is not the only danger albino people face. The real threat is other people.
The albino hunts in Tanzania started in the 1990s. Officially, seventy-five people were killed and thirty-four mutilated. Off the record, there are no official statistics on the subject and the inhumane practices are being swept under the carpet. Although the punishment for murder in Tanzania is death by hanging, very few convictions for assaulting albinos have been made. The assailants are often neighbours or even family members.
Kabula fell victim to this foul business when she was 12. Five years ago, a few men broke into her house and chopped her arm off with a machete. Kabula wants to become a lawyer and fight for the rights of the albino people. Together with the journalist, she visits her home village for the first time in five years.
Kabula has lived in an enclosed facility protected by armed guards and barbed-wire fence. It’s the only way Tanzanian government can ensure safety of the albino population. The camp also accommodates women as some Tanzanian men believe that having sex with an albino woman brings luck and riches and may cure them of AIDS.
Journalist, for the past 8 years chief editor of the Polish edition of “National Geographic” and “NG Traveler” magazines. Since 1998 associated with the Polish television station TVN, for which she produced, among others, 54 episodes of her own travel series, “Woman at the End of the World”, which is televised in 9 countries around the world. The second Polish woman to conquer the “Seven Summits” (Mount Everest in 2006), and the first woman in Central-Eastern Europe to complete a Dakar Rally. Juror at mountain and travel film festivals. Author of 10 bestseller books. The second part of “Women at the End of the World ” was chosen as travel book of the year. Her books for children, “Kids of the World” and “Animals of the World”, were awarded by the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC, USA, as the best international book project. A recipient of multiple prestige awards, among others, Best Employer (BBC Knowledge), Woman of The Year in 2009, Personality of the Year in 2011, Most influential woman of 2014 in media category . Journalist Majors in all of Poland have chosen her as a person they would like to be in the future. Mother of 7-year-old Marysia. www.martyna.pl
A Łódz film school graduate, regularly working with TVN. He participated in many expeditions to Asia and Africa. He organized and participated in the 1st Trekking Expedition of the Koszalin Polytechnic (‘Nepal ’97), the 2nd Koszalin Polytechnic Expedition ‘Kilimandzaro ’98’ , a Lodz trekking expedition ‘Elbrus ‘99’ and the multimedia expedition ‘Aktivist goes on the top’. He has authored several documentary films for Discovery History. He has directed several documentary films for the Discovery Channel, ex.: “In the Shade of the Reactor”, “Włoszczowa-Faithful to the Cross” as well as the “Himalayist” series, which have been shown numerous times in film festivals both in Poland and abroad. He also created the documentary series “Student’s Show”, which details the happy history of the most known Polish student clubs, such as: “Pod Jaszczurami”, “Rotunda”, “Stodoła”, “Hybryd”, “Żaka” and “Od Nowa”. In 2012 he directed awarded in many International Festivals documentary “Art of freedom”. He also co-wrote the screenplay and produced the TVN feature films “My Pole” and “Silence” for the series “Real Histories”. The screenplay for “Silence” made it to the final of the 2009 edition of the Hartley Merrill competition.