by ANDY ALVAREZ
In Tanzania, Africa, Bibiana Mashamba has Albinism, a condition many people are born with. Mashamba and her sister lived with their aunt and uncle in their home country. At the age of sixteen, she was attacked by robbers in the night. Why did these robbers attack her? They wanted the bones of teenagers with albinism. Why did they want her bones in the first place?
These robbers wanted the bones of teens with albinism because some people in Africa “mistakenly believe they bring wealth and good luck”. Then these robbers would sell them to witch doctors. Because of this “merciless attack”, Bibiana Mashamba lost “her right leg, two fingers and tried to chop off her left leg but ran off before they could get through the bone”. She says she “did not know what was happening at first” and “ Whoever attacked her drugged her beforehand, while she slept”. After this, she stayed in the hospital for ten months.
Mashamba does not know who attacked her that night, but she does know why they did what they did. She says“ because of her skin color. Her stark white skin and blond hair attract the worst kind of attention in her home country”. She states that, supposedly, people with albinism have some type of magic in them. She says people who obtain a body part of someone who has albinism can become rich. In addition to what she said, she goes on how this is the “work of the devil”, “Those witchdoctors who are telling them to come and chop our limbs, they are liars,” she says” “How can someone get rich off my bones? I am not rich and they are my bones. This is the work of the devil.”
Her and her sister said they are both afraid to go back to their country and are afraid the robbers will go back and take the rest of their limbs, or maybe even kill them. Malena Ruth who runs the “African Millennium Foundation” helped bring Mashamba and her sister to the United States to give them the best care they need. Living in the U.S. now,“I want to be a doctor so I can heal other children’s bones,” a smiling Mashamba says”. In the video, Bibiana Mashamba says “I’m happy, because I’m alive. And I’m here in a good place,so I’m happy”.
Link to Video: