Albino Killings in Africa

Once, albinos only had to fear the burning sun and constantly seek the shade. But now they also fear what is hiding in the shadows. Many of Tanzania’s 170,000 albinos have gone into hiding. They are being hunted because witchdoctors are spreading the belief that albinos possess a magical power. They believe that body parts from albinos can make you rich, so they make potions and charms from albinos’ legs, hair, hands, and blood. Since 2007 Tanzanians have killed 54 albinos, most of them children, hoping to obtain wealth and success. The killings continue despite government efforts to stop the practice. The Mitindo Primary School in the northern part of Tanzania is a school for the blind and visually impaired. Now the school is overrun by Albino children seeking a safe haven. Manyasi is one of the children on the run. His sister was brutally murdered and mutilated by ritual killers in 2008. In September 2009 the first trial against three men accused of killing albinos began.

Suzanne S. Nielsen & Camilla Folsach Madsen