By Chioma Umeha
In order to tackle the stigma and discrimination associated with Albinism, Onome Akinlolu Majaro Foundation (OAM) and Ada Ossai Production weekend released a movie titled “Beyond the Complexion”, a film designed to change people’s perception about Nigerians living with albinism.
The film made by Michael Azano, directed by Omokehinde and produced by Ada Ossai was an adaptation of a true life story, which tries to correct myths and misconceptions of albinism, while shedding a light on the trials and triumphs of persons living with albinism.
Speaking during the premier weekend in Lagos, the producer, Ada Ossai who is also a Person With Albinism, PWA, explained that in the short film, was a true life story and fiction that showed the resilience of the Albino child when encouraged by family and the society.
“The movie also talks about the beauty of talent and how fascinating it is when there is a strong support system for that gifted child. We all know about the stigmatization and discrimination between the normal skin colour people and people with Albinism, PWAs, in our society. I have had my own share of rejection, discrimination etc. growing up as a child in school so I decided to put this out for people to see. I can only tell it better because it has happened to me. The movie is a true life story mixed with fiction.”
Ossai who noted that growing up was full of challenges as a PWA explained that albinism is a range of disorders varying in severity and caused by a reduction or absence of the pigment melanin, often causing white skin, light hair, and vision problems and has no spiritual link.
Statistics available have show that the condition affects an estimated 1 in 17,000 people globally.
Corroborating her views, Co- producer, Mrs. Onome Majaro noted that the specific message in the film was that albinism is a genetic condition and not witchcraft, or infidelity.
“It is purely in the gene. One of the parents has to be carriers for you to have an albino child that is the specific message and we are also trying to say that albinos deserve love and respect; albinos can do anything they set their mind to.”
“We are also using the film to create awareness and not for profit making. We are not selling it for now but we would eventually put it on YouTube,” she added.
Speaking, mother to one of the producers, Mrs. Rita Okagbare, who noted that the movie was capital intensive said: “Although it was expensive, I am glad it was successful.”
Commending Pefti for their assistance, she encouraged parents with albino children to care and love them as they are special gift from God. “When these children are not loved by their parents, others will begin to treat them badly but when they are loved by their parents, people outside will love and respect them.”