Thando Hopa on bashing Albinism stereotypes

Thando Hopa on bashing Albinism stereotypes

Dec 10, 2018, 03:00 PM

South Africans are making big strides in fighting the stigma that surrounds Albinism. Across Africa, black people who live with the condition continue to face unwarranted stereotypes, but Thando Hopa is on a mission to change that. 

Do you remember growing up and hearing all kinds of strange fables about people who live with Albinism? We often heard that people who are affected by the condition bring good luck (or bad luck), or that someone who has albinism can cure HIV/AIDS. None of these statements are true, and although many of the people reading this would know this, the stereotypes still exist today. 

International model, Thando Hopa is determined to change these mindsets, however. The model, who recently made history when she starred in the 2018 Pirelli Calendar, spoke to Top Women about the negative thoughts around Albinism that she wants to change. 

She began by touching on her childhood and some of the incorrect beliefs people had about what it meant to live with albinism. 

"It was the contradictory beliefs that people with albinism bring either good or bad luck. Having people hug and hold me for good luck, or conversely spit into the necklines of their tops to ward off bad luck or make a big show of not wanting to touch me for fear of becoming like me or having children who are like me. I felt like a walking commodity, struggling to find words to explain how ordinary I am," she said. 

At the end of the day, Thando just wants the world to know that people with albinism are just that - people, who happen to live with a skin condition. 


We are pleased to see celebrities like Thando using their platforms to educate society on how best we should be changing our behaviours. Have you or your peers had to change some of your incorrect mindsets about albinism in recent years?

Main image credit: Instagram/@thandohopa
Written by

Tinashe Venge

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