A coffee with Josephat Torner / Na kafi sa Josephat Torner

„Tu sam, zdravo… ja sam Josephat“, uz osmeh, neposredan je bio jedan od najpoznatijih tanzanijskih boraca za prava albino populacije. Dok se smeštao u brižljivo izrezbarenu drvenu stolicu, veselo je rekao: „Sada možes da me pitaš šta god poželiš!“

Josephat je, kako tvrdi, jedan od 100.000 albino ljudi u Tanzaniji, zemlji sa najvećim brojem obolelih od ove bolesti. On uz smeh kaže: „Mi smo duhovi!“, jer je njihova boja kože bela, kosa plava, a oči svetle, crvenkaste. „Zbog toga nas love … proganjaju, žele naše delove tela. Veruju da smo magični ili prokleti.” – nastavlja on.

“I’m here, hello … I am Josephat,” with a smile said one of the most famous Tanzanian fighters for the rights of the albino population. As sitting down  in a carefully carved wooden chair, he said cheerfully: “Now you can ask me whatever you want!”

Josephat is said to be one of the 100,000 albino people in Tanzania, the country with the largest number of people who have been affected by this disease. He says with laughter, “We are ghosts!” , because their skin colour is white, the hair is blue, and the eyes are bright, reddish. “Because of that, we are hunted …   persecuted, they want our parts of the body. They believe that we are magical or cursed. “- he continues.

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Josephat Torner

Albinizam je nasledna bolest, koja izaziva prestanak proizvodnje ili smanjenu proizvodnju pigmenta melanina. Javlja se kod svih etničkih grupa i rasa, ali i zivotinja.

Albinism is a hereditary disease that causes interruption in production or reduced production of melanin pigment. It is reported to all ethnic groups and races, but also to animals.

Josephat je rano shvatio da je drugačiji. Rođen je oko 1980-te godine u malom selu nadomak Mwanze, gradu na severu zemlje. Njegovi roditelji, siromašni pastoralisti, odlučili su da je ljubav prema detetu snažnija od osude zajednice, te je mali Josephat krenuo u školu. Deca su ga se plašila, učitelji izbegavali, jer su verovali da je zarazan, verovali su da će i njihova koža postati bela. U ruralnim delovima Tanzanije albino dete je uvek loš predznak za porodicu, za čitavu zajednicu, negde je i dokaz da je žena bila neverna, da se podala belom čoveku ili samom đavolu.

Josephat realized early that he was different. He was born around 1980 in a small village near Mwanza, a town in the north of the country. His parents, poor pastoralists, decided that love for the child was stronger than the conviction of the community, and little Josephat went to school. The children were afraid of him, the teachers avoided him, believing that he was infectious,  that their skin would become white too. In rural parts of Tanzania, an albino child is always a bad sign for the family, for the whole community, somewhere is proof that the woman was unfaithful, giving herself to a white man or the devil himself.

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Majka sa albino bebom, autobus za Dar es Salaam / A mother with an albino child, a bus to Dar es Salaam

„Kako srušiti zid stigme? Kako preživeti izolaciju? Kako dobiti odgovore na pitanja zašto ja, zašto sam baš ja ovakav? Znaš, prvo sam krivio roditelje, majku najviše, a potom sebe … sve dok nisam shvatio da to moram da prevaziđem da bih preživeo.“ I uspeo je – učenjem. Josephat je bio najbolji učenik, počeo je da igra fudbal i žarko želeo samo jedno – da se bori za sve one koji su drugačiji.

“How to knock down the walls of the stigma? How to survive isolation? How to get answers to questions about why, why am I this way? You know, first I blamed my parents, my mother the most, and then myself … until I realized I had to overcome it to survive. ” And he did – by learning. Josephat was the best student, he began to play football and he wanted only one thing – to fight for all those who are different.

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Albino dečak na pijaci, Stonetown, Zanizbar / An albino boy at the market, Stone Town, Zanzibar

„Majka bi mi nežno mazala kožu uljima, brinula je da ne izgorim. Zato me nije slala da čuvam stoku.“, priseća se on. Većina albino populacije u Tanzaniji živi ispod granice siromaštva. Oni zbog svoje bele puti nisu samo stigmatizovani, već se i suočavaju sa drugim, veoma ozbiljnim problemima. Siromaštvo i diskriminacija onemogućuju  dobijanje adekvatnog obrazovanja, što rađa nezaposlenost, odakle opet, izvire siromaštvo. Rak kože je jedan od vodećih uzroka smrti u albino populaciji Tanzanije, jer da bi se prehranili, mnogi moraju da rade na njivi. Oni nemaju novac za kreme, zaštitne naočare, a sunce ume da bude nemilosrdno. Suočeni su i sa bolestima oka, kao što su slabovidost, fotofobija, strabizam, čak i slepilo. Sve ovo, uz progon, izolaciju, razvojne ili šok traume, čini da, bez pomoći, oni ne mogu da vode bezbedan i dostojanstven život.

“My mother would gently put oils on my skin, she worried that the sun would not burn it. That’s why she did not send me with the cattle, ” he recalls. Most of the albino population in Tanzania live below the poverty line. Because of their white skin, they are not only stigmatized but also face other, very serious problems. Poverty and discrimination make it impossible to obtain an adequate education, which leads to unemployment, where again, poverty erupts. Skin cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the albino population of Tanzania because, in order to feed, many have to work in the field. They do not have money for creams, protective glasses, and the sun can be merciless. They are also confronted with eye diseases, such as visually impairedness, photophobia, strabismus, and even blindness. All this, with persecution, isolation, developmental or shock trauma, seems that without help, they can not lead a safe and dignified life.

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Josephat ima velikih problema sa vidom / Josephat has serious problems with sight

 

Josephat Torner se nije mirio sa situacijom i 19. oktobra 2008. organizovana je demonstracija. „Mirno smo setali ulicama Dara (Dar es Salaama), bili smo glas onih koji su do tada bili bez glasa! Predsednik je bio naš gost.“  Počeo je da dobija pretnje smrću, a 2009. godine, u Arushi, bio je napadnut. Pukim slučajem je preživeo.

Josephat Torner did not settle with the situation and on October 19, 2008, a demonstration was organized. “We walked peacefully the streets of Dar (Dar es Salaam), we were the voice of voiceless! The president was our guest.” He began to receive death threats, and in 2009, he was attacked in Arusha. He survived by chance.

Prva zvanična presuda za ubistvo pripadnika albino populacije u Tanzaniji dogodila se 2009. godine. Do 2015. broj ubijenih i osakaćenih rapidno je rastao. Policija nije uspevala da reši slučajeve koji su se gomilali, zvanično, bilo je preko 80 ubijenih, 200 osakaćenih i desetine iskopanih sa groblja! Uchawi, znanje waganga (vračeva), suvereno je vladalo Tanzanijom.

The first official conviction for the killing of albino in Tanzania occurred in 2009. By 2015, the number of people killed and mutilated has rapidly grown. The police failed to solve the cases that were piling up, and officially there were over 80 killed, 200 mutilated and dozens dug from the cemetery! Uchawi, the knowledge of wagang (doctors), sovereignly ruled Tanzania.

„Neki roditelji ostavljaju svoju decu, tvrde da ih vlada primorava, ima i onih koji prodaju svoju decu! Njihove šake, ruke, stopala, uši, genitalije, krv, mogu da koštaju i do 3000, 4000, 5000 američkih dolara! Celo telo i preko 70000 dolara! Ko može da plati toliko novca? Zašto? Jer veruje da će postati bogat kada mu vrač napravi napitak?“

“Some parents leave their children, claiming that they are forced by the government, and there are those who even sell their children! Their hands, feet, ears, genitals, blood can cost up to 3000, 4000, 5000 US dollars! The body over $ 70000! Who can pay that much money? Why? Because he believes he will become rich when his medicine man makes a potion? “

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Josephatova šaka / Josephat’s hand

 

Tanzanija je 2015. zakonom zabranila rad vračeva. Vlada i TAS – Tanzania Albinism Society udružili su snage u borbi, dok Josephat neumorno nastavlja bitku. Prošle godine se, kaže, popeo na Uhuru, najviši vrh Kilimandžara i Afrike, da bi uprkos zdravstvenim problemima, pokazao da su članovi albino populacije sposobni, da mogu i žele, da ih samo obrazovanje može biti odvesti u bolje sutra .

In 2015 Tanzania banned the work of doctors by law. The government and the TAS – Tanzania Albinism Society joined forces in the battle, while Josephat tirelessly continues the battle. Last year, he says, he climbed to Uhuru, the peak of Kilimanjaro and Africa, to show that members of the albino population are capable, able and willing, that despite health problems, only education can lead them to a better tomorrow.

„Naša boja kože je različita, ali je boja krvi ista. Mi smo jednaki, svi smo mi ljudska bića.“, kaže Josephat Torner.

“Our skin colour is different, but the colour of the blood is the same. We are equal, we are all human beings, “says Josephat Torner.

 

 

-Razgovor vođen u Dar es Salaamu, Tanzanija / An interview conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

  • Pictures taken with mobile phone

 

 

Salif Keita je jedan od najpoznatijih muzičara crnog kontinenta. Salif , “zlatni glas Afrike” je albino.

Salif Keita is one of the most famous musicians of the Black Continent. Salif, “the golden voice of Africa” is an albino.

 

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