I am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. White is an accurate representation of God!

Tendai Damba (40 years old), mother to Tinashe Ruswaya(12 years old), was born in Rusape under harsh conditions where she also currently resides. She got married. Upon realizing that she was pregnant with her third child, Tendai was quite jovial and elated. She and her husband waited impatiently to meet their emerging bundle of joy and as nine months passed by, it felt like nine whole years because of the immense excitement the couple had in preparation to welcome their baby. Little did she know that her current predicament was going to completely change and that her whole world was going to be shattered after her baby was born. When the blessing (the child) was finally born she was overjoyed. It was a bouncing baby boy! She was also surprised by the fact that her baby was born with a lighter skin tone as compared to her first two children. When the doctors diagnosed and informed her that her baby had been born with albinism, it came out as a surprise but it did not take time for Tendai to acknowledge, accept and embrace the situation. On the other hand, her spouse took the whole situation differently.

It was devastating for Tendai because once the baby was born, the couple started to quarrel. Her husband failed to accept the predicament and he left his family. The most intriguing aspect is that the father blamed the condition of the baby on the mother. As he said, “Handiite mwana musope inini haasi wangu uyu!” (This is not my baby !). As the husband fled, Tendai was left to cater for all three of her children alone and unemployed. More so, the community and her family did not make life any easier for Tendai and her baby. Over the years, most African societies have been associating albinism with witchcraft, superstitions and several negative attributes, which seems to be taking a toll on many individuals living with albinism. As years passed by, Tinashe proved to be an enormously talented young individual with outmost passion, zeal and brilliance in music and academic excellence.

He plays marimba and he also likes singing. Tinashe’s favorite statement has always been, ” You can go ahead and brag that you are black because I am white but I am just like God and white is an accurate representation of God!”Tinashe seems to be impacting his community positively and changing most people’s perspective on albinism through showing his talent and potential, confidently and unapologetically. Struggles do come regularly since some people can be ignorant, lack the knowledge, understanding and acceptance of albinism. Tinashe’s mother also struggles to adequately take care of all her children which compromises satisfaction of their needs. As talented and intelligent as Tinashe is, she sometimes fails to pay his tuition, considering that education is a basic need to every child. She worries for all her children’s future because she is growing older and she doesn’t know what tomorrow holds for them without a father figure in their lives.

However she is grateful for the lotions that Bible society of Zimbabwe donated to her child and she has hope for the future. She feels that the lotions and the lip balms will go a long way in assisting her child. Both Tendai and her child have hope that Bible society of Zimbabwe will continue to support them and other families in need which have individuals with albinsm. She is also hoping for Bible society of Zimbabwe to engage them with projects that can enable people with albinism to look after their families. She finished off by saying,” The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”