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Love and family

Why is it so hard for albinos to find love?

15 December 2021, Anne Mireille Nzouankeu, RNW
Why is it so hard for albinos to find love?

The forced celibacy of albinos, what you should know.

Because they are “white” born to black parents, albinos face discrimination on a daily basis and experience difficulties in their romantic life.

Like every Sunday, around ten albinos meet in a district of Yaoundé to sing. For them, singing is a form of therapy that helps them cope with the stigma they face.

“The stigma is present every day of my life. When I take the taxi, in the market and in all public places, people have weird looks. Some make fun, for example by throwing: ‘the white, eyes of cat,’” complains Nelly Kemezong, a 24-year-old albino.

Albinos, a curse sign

Emmanuel Koum, 29, shares one of his unfortunate experiences: “I have known a few girls who have told me about the reluctance their family members would have if they were to get involved with an albino. In fact, in most families, people find it difficult to admit that a person has an albino as a partner,” he says.

The young man explains that, “in some cultures an albino is seen as a sign of bad luck or a curse. So it feels like a person who decides to pair up or even just go out with an albino. will not know happiness. The family organizes itself to end this relationship by all means.”

Psychological disturbances

What surprises most is that the stigma against albinos does not come only from others.

“I don't intend to take an albino for my husband. I've never had a romantic feeling for an albino. They are too soft these albinos, too passive, not enterprising enough,” says Nelly Kemezong.

“As an albino, I already have a lot of problems both from a health point of view and from a social point of view. If I get together with an albino, we will have albino children and I would have the impression of multiplying these problems and perpetuating the race of albinos. One thing I do not want,” adds Sylvie Nana.

Emmanuel Koum supervises many young people in an association of albinos. From her coaching experience, this lack of liveliness in albinos is psychological. “Some albinos have psychological problems. They anticipate social stigma. They keep from falling in love so as not to be disappointed,” he says.

It's all in the head

Because of the stigma, black people don't want to partner with albinos. Albinos also do not want to pair up with their peers. Ultimately, very few young albinos manage to have a stable love life.

Nelly Kemezong has had a boyfriend for a few months. He is Black and everything is going well. Emmanuel Koum is alone, like more than half of the young people of this singing group.

He launches a cry from the heart to everyone: “Albinism is neither a fatality nor a curse. It is only a biological anomaly which determines neither the feelings, nor the aptitudes, nor the intelligences. Albinism only determines the colour of the skin. As the stigma ends so that albinos have normal lives like everyone else.”
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