The myths surrounding people with albinism in South Africa and Zimbabwe

C Baker, P lund, R Nyathi, Julie Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The myths associated with albinism in South Africa and Zimbabwe have a profound influence on the lives of people with the condition, from the moment of their birth until their death. The beliefs and superstitions surrounding the condition affect family life and interfere with access to education, employment and marriage. Drawing on a common interest in albinism, specialist research interests, and recent multi-disciplinary studies and research carried out in South Africa and Zimbabwe, we examine these myths and trace their impact on the lives of people with albinism. We trace the actuality of living with the condition in parts of present-day southern Africa, as reported in the first-hand accounts of people with albinism. We compare attitudes to albinism in different cultures and groups, and suggest ways in which the myths that have surrounded people with albinism for so long, which frequently have very negative connotations, can be challenged by a more scientific and culturally neutral explanation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-181
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of African Cultural Studies
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Oculocutaneous albinism
  • Myth
  • Pathography
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The myths surrounding people with albinism in South Africa and Zimbabwe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this