When Perpetua Senkoro was young she would pray.

“I would pray for a miracle that: ‘God please help me, when I wake up tomorrow I should wake up black.'”

Perpetua was born with albinism and for a long time she questioned why her skin was a different colour to her parents.

Growing up in Tanzania, Perpetua faced numerous challenges. At school, she struggled to see the blackboard as a result of vision impairment, which is a common feature of albinism. “I could not see the blackboard well.”

Her skin was also particularly vulnerable to the sun and she developed spots. “And I remember when I would make new friends. I would start by telling them: ‘I have spots on my skin. Would you be comfortable hanging out with me?'”

She also became used to being called “zeru- zeru”, which means something white in Swahili, by strangers on the street and once was even chased by a group of children who were hurling insults.

Perpetua has also had to deal with the constant fear of living in a country where people with albinism are attacked for their body parts which are falsely believed to have magical properties.

“We feared for our lives. We still fear for our lives.”

Today, Perpetua is married with two children and a successful career. She says she has found self-acceptance and happiness.

“I like where I am. I feel more confident with myself. I feel unbothered by how I look. Now, if somebody calls me names, I don’t take it personally as I usually would. I’m in a position to deal with my condition in the best way that I ever could.”