A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members—Mahatma Gandhi
A society founded on ill principles of life is doomed; that built on blatant disregard for decency is crooked; and that whose survival depends on the sacrifice of innocent souls’ freedom is jinxed.
It appears, from simple observations of life, that nature favors the upright—those that have the strength to create a life for others as good as their own; those that have the decency to bring honor where some seem to rob it; and those that have the moral compass to use their power as though they are powerless themselves.
Given the above, it is no surprise then that those societies where a larger part of their daily life is premised on such simple but profoundly important notions of life have witnessed, are witnessing, and will expectedly continue to witness the unparalleled progress and favors that Mother Nature bestow upon them. The success of a modern society is thus rigged in favor of those societies whose citizens attach as much regard to others as they attach to themselves.
It is at this point that we should start question whether Malawi society can or—for decency’s sake—will join our friends in achieving progress as a result of the respect for basic human rights and civil liberties for all of its citizens. It is here that we need to take stock of our treatment to one of the emerging weak members of our society—the albinos. Recent instances of albino stigmatization are a worrisome blemish in our society. That’s why we need as a nation to take a strong legal and social concern against our indecent treatment of our fellow citizens who are differently-blessed in skin color.
As rightly observed by the Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati, our society’s culture of stigmatizing albinos calls for serious in-depth introspection, both as a people of God and as a human rights minded nation, to design and pass bills that specifically provides legal protective measures to albinos.
We’re no stronger for victimizing and killing our fellows; we’re less so in our eyes, and least so, and most certainly worse, in the eyes of the Creator. Creation of a safe living environment is the goal here. And to achieve that, it is important to note that there has to be a great deal of meaningful sensitization to be made to our friends (or foes?) who believe in the efficacy of albino ritualism.
This is a big task. It is no work for Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare alone nor is it a private domain for Federation of Disability association of Malawi (FEDOMA and Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM). It is a task for any well-meaning Malawian; it is a task by us citizens for us.
Meanwhile, it should be made clear to the public at large that those to be found guilty of the abhorrent killings of albinos for rituals or other will be severely dealt with. To this end, special funds and resources have to be made available for such an undertaking. Better still, there can be created a distinct unit in the police system which shall be extra-ordinarily resourced to promptly deal with instances of attempted or actual killings of albinos.
To meaningfully achieve the above, the organizations that fight for the rights and welfare of albinos will have to make a standing arrangement to channel some of its resources this distinct police unit so as to beef up the human as well as material resources that may be lacking in our law enforcement system. There can also be organized functions specifically designed to collect funds for this honorable cause. The media, above and beyond, will have also to be encouraged to intensify and give special and in-depth coverage of news of albino-related victimizations.
It is well within the confines of logic that it is not only seriously preposterous but also insanely inhuman to regard ourselves as humans and regard albinos as being less so. Who defines ‘humanness’ apart from the Creator himself? How can a created being make a distinction about what is human and what is not about its fellow created being? The truth is: either we all—albino-victimizing ritualists and albinos—are human beings or no one is. In the circumstances, the irony is that the latter are even more human than the former.
It is of some significance, in the end, to note that whatever our color everyone is the extension of another. No human being is better than another; none more human than another; literally none more ritualworth than another. We all are—albino or what have you—one and the same thing before our Creator. We’re all human beings,…and if only we saw albinos humans they really are.