Albino family feels threatened

2015-10-22 06:00

Tyongozi family crammed in their one room shack fearing for their lives after some community members threatened them for being albinos. Temba’s sister Siphokazi (black skirt) joined them in an effort to support them. 

unathi obose

Tyongozi family crammed in their one room shack fearing for their lives after some community members threatened them for being albinos. Temba’s sister Siphokazi (black skirt) joined them in an effort to support them. PHOTO: unathi obose

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Distraught Kuyasa family fears for their lives after community members mistreated them.

Tyongozi family which is living with albinism believed that their lives are in danger following numerous threats and insults hurled at them by community members. About six family members living with albinism.

“We are not free in the area. Other people don’t see us as human beings. They always insult us and say all the bad things about us especially to my children,” said the distressed father Temba Tyongozi.

Tyongozi 51 who is a tenant said his shack is a target to the young children. “Almost everyday children here always are throwing stones on top of my house and ran away. I don’t know why because we never had a problem to anyone in the area,’ he explained.

He said he suspects that they are targeted because of they are albinos.

“My whole family are albinos I, my wife, my children and my mother. And we never chose to be born with it. And people must understand that we are humans like anybody. There only difference is a skin colour.I don’t know why people discriminating us,” he said. However,Tyongozi explained that he is there only one with albinism among his two siblings.

The father of three children said he feels sad when his children teased and insulted by their peers because of their skin colour. “My son was called ‘inkawu’ and forced to face the sun by his friends. And all those things don’t sit well to me.”

The struggling family which crammed in a one room shack said sometimes they considering of relocating to other area but they can’t because they are unemployed.

“Sometimes I wish I can find another place where I’m going to be appreciated together with my family. But I can’t because we are unemployed only surviving by grants,” he explained and urged government to impose stringent penalties to those who call people by names.

“I wish government can introduce stringent punishment to those who insults and calling other people by names,” he suggested. He said his son had to find himself new friends after he suffered embarrassment from his peers. Tyongozi said he reported the incident to the community leaders.

He dismissed sentiments that albinos disappear when they are going to die. “I’ve heard people talking lies about us that we don’t die we just disappear. Or if you want your business to grow you cut our hair and body parts to make a muti. If that was true our families should have getting rich by now,” he said.

Tyongozi’s mother who named her as Matshezi 78, lashed out their perpetrators and emphasized that they never asked to be like that. “I never asked to be like this. I always feel the pain when my grandchildren come from the street crying because they are insulted by other children. We all created by God. They (grandchildren) are not animals. They don’t have tails. Other children in the area are disabled but they are not teased or insulted. Why my children?” she asked. Matshezi explained that she inherited the genes from her family.

“There were albinos in my family (both my mother and father’s side). Even Temba’s grandfather was an albino,” she explained.

Athlone School for the Blind pupil SandileTyongozi (12), said he feels they (his family) are not wanted by some community members. “It hurts when people calling us ‘inkawu’. I even stopped playing with them (his old friends) and finds myself new friends,” said Sandile added that other people call him ‘umlungu’. There Orlando Pirates supporter and a big fan of Thabo Ragale, said his new friends don’t have a problem and they admire him. He said his new friends fight for him against people mocking him.

Sandile’s friend Sanele Mbana14 said he doesn’t have problem with the skin colour of his friend. “I don’t have a problem with Sandile. I touch and hug him. To me, he looks like anybody,” said Mbana.

Community leader Ntombizakhe Silo confirmed that Tyongozi informed them about the incident.

“We visited his house wanted to hear what happened. These children threw stones while we were there. We caught some of them and we took them to their families to report their deeds. We cautioned them not to do it again because they were still young,” explained Silo added that they were ages between from six to 10 year old. She indicated that they are intending to call general meeting to address Tyongozi’s issue.

Silo urged anyone who can assist the family to get decent place. “The condition of the shack is not good and it’s leaking in winter. It’s too small and there is no privacy,” she explained added that her concern is Matshezi’s life

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