Nosta Matsika, 33 years old, one of the 61 people with albinism Bible Society of Zimbabwe visited in Rusape under EMDAC. “Growing up in the rural areas with my single mom was not easy. My father abandoned us soon after my birth. I was stigmatized and discriminated in both our neighborhood and at school. Teachers were not comfortable having me in their classes leading to me dropping out of school. My mother was not always nice to me for she felt like having an albino child ruined her life. My only place to be happy was at church where I had a few friends”.
I got married and became a mother at a very young age. I was not received well in the family I married into. My in-laws fed my husband superstitions around albinism and that shook my marriage. Matters got worse when one of my four children (Mia) was born with albinism and history repeated itself. My world shattered. I could not point my fingers to what I had done to deserve all this. I felt like my life was calamity after calamity – misfortune after misfortune, why could not I be happy for once. I did not know what to do, I thought it was better to just end this suffering by taking my own life and that of my albino child, nobody cared anyway.
As they always say there is light at the end of every tunnel, when I thought it was over that’s when I heard of BSZ. They were a ray of sunshine. They taught and informed us on the causes of albinism, how to live and take care of our skin type, how to embrace, be confident and positive and to teach and help others on this subject. They have put us in a support group in which we are nurtured and validated. I’m being taught how to be there for Mia, how to be the person I needed when I was hurting. With the information I have and the scriptures that have been shared I believe my daughter and I are fearfully and wonderfully made; I believe albinism is unicity in a good way and I advocate for those of my kind.
There are people who still discriminate and associate us with witchcraft and bad luck and that adds up to the challenges my daughter is facing. I’m single now since the father of my children had abandoned us after Mia’s birth. Providing all her needs is a challenge. Her lotions are expensive, and she needs extra care. I’m not educated and the part-time jobs I find need me to get into the sun and that’s a big challenge for my skin. BSZ has promised that if they got enough funding for projects like these, they would like to come and equip us with empowering skills and help us start projects that we can do in sheds to help provide for our families in a healthy way. One of the scriptures that get me going is Psalms 30;5 WEEPING MAY TARRY FOR THE NIGHT BUT JOY COMES IN THE MORNING. Now I do not allow disappointments to cripple my self-esteem or kill my reason to live. For the bibles you gave us the previous time you came, the sunscreen lotions and the lip balms I am grateful beyond words. What’s more touching is we have received lotions some time back, but they were not for our skin type. We had blisters after using them. I’m grateful that BSZ has taken full research and brought us the right product specifically for our skin type, many thanks to the Bible Society of Zimbabwe.