Watch: Color Complex: Meet Jayne Waithera, the Extraordinary Kenyan Woman Giving a Voice to Albinism

Skin color both unites and divides us. Whether you live in India, East Africa or Japan, the color of your skin shapes your identity and opportunities. Color Complex is a narrative series that explores how people of color around the world struggle for visibility and learn to navigate the prejudices and social hierarchies associated with their skin tone.

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People with albinism face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide. In East Africa, people with albinism live in fear of being hunted down and hacked to pieces for their body parts and bones. Some indigenous healers consider them to be good luck charms and claim that their bones are filled with gold.

Jayne Waithera is leading a movement of acceptance and education as the founder of Positive Exposure Kenya, an advocacy group working to support those affected by albinism.

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Waithera was recently awarded the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, which recognizes the accomplishments of some of Africa’s most inspiring young leaders. Her story gives a platform to the underamplified voices of people with albinism.

Pretty. Witty. Girly. Worldly. One who likes to party, but comes home early. I got stories to tell. Prince (yes, that Prince) called me excellence. Achievement unlocked.

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DISCUSSION

Thanks for sharing Jayne’s story with us. I think the best moment was seeing her with her little mentee Shirylene! Very powerful to have such a strong, loving and fierce advocate helping you grow up.