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Tulli's Story

Tulli, disability activist in Tanzania

Tulli is the chair of the Tanzania Federation of People with Disabilities that campaigns for the rights of disabled people.

“The work we do is supported by ADD. Our main focus here is to make sure that disabled people get access to their rights and are treated fairly within society. I know what it is like to be judged and persecuted for having a disability.

My parents raised me well and accepted the way I am, but outside my home the community had a very negative attitude towards me.

When women with their small children saw me they would hide their children. Pregnant women would hide themselves, afraid that if they looked at me they would end up having a baby with albinism. Some even spat on their chests as a symbol to break the curse so that they will never bear a child like me.

Being a person with albinism has many challenges and dangers attached to it. When people began hunting us for our body parts it struck fear into every person with albinism. We were worried for our lives.

At the height of the massacre, parents who had children with albinism stopped them from going to school for they were afraid that they would be attacked on the way there.

It is only because people are speaking out about the vicious crimes afflicted on people with albinism that opinions and beliefs are beginning to change. But it doesn’t happen overnight; we are still fighting against these deep rooted myths that are endangering peoples lives. We need more people supporting us and to help us spread the message that we are people too!”