By Chioma Obinna
In a move to demystify albinism in Africa, particularly, Nigeria, Onome Akinlolu Majaro, OAM, Foundation in collaboration with Damilola Onafuwa last week held a photography exhibition tagged ”Angels among Men’
The project, ‘Angels among Men’ explored the special character of the pale skinned, light haired, rose-coloured or blue eyes humans otherwise known as albinos.
It also explored the lives of People Living with Albinism in Nigeria and how they thrive in spite of the lack of melanin in their ‘African skin’ and the stereotypes associated with it in most parts of Africa. Nigeria has an estimate of over 2 million albinos.
Addressing journalists during the exhibition in Lagos, Mr. Damilola Onafuwa, a visual artist, said it was his first solo exhibition, noting that albinism in Africa is associated with negative connotation, and in many parts of Africa, people living with albinism are often times faced with these societal issues.
Onafuwa said the exhibition was strictly to expose, educate and inspire truth of the condition, debunk myths as well as celebrate people living with albinism that have, in spite of all odds lived above it and made a life for themselves.
“The title, Angels Among Men does not intend to fetishise or refer to people living with albinism as literal angels or as superior, it rather refers to everyone who has chosen to rise and live above stereotypical judgments against people of a different race, colour or gender; people who choose not to be limited by short sighted and shallow standards of men, but treat all with a scale of equality.”
For Damilola, “it is a project put together in love for humanity, aimed at dignifying the subjects photographed, and celebrates beauty in difference.”
The Co Founder, Mrs Onome Akinlolu Majaro, disclosed that the art works will be shown in several other countries ibecause albinism is in every part of the world.
Onome who said OAM has reached over 2000 albinos since inception with education, scholarships, free sunscreens, jamb forms and pay lessen fees for albinos etc, said by June this year, the Foundation will dole out another sets of scholarships, sunscreens to mark this year’s world Albinism Day. Gave out jam forms for albinos, pay for lessons.
Onome who is living with albinism advised albinos that although there is discrimination they should learn to love themselves.
The high point of the event was the exhibition of 16 art works and a book called Angels Among Men, where some of the works not exhibited were captured.