Former Jubilee nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura is known as an abrasive and crude individual who rides rough and holds back nothing whenever he’s on the attack. However, he left both foes and allies confused when he referred to an incident which he claimed was committed by the former Prime Minister and Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga. He said that during his interview with Gukena Radio and other media houses at his Karen home, Raila Odinga referred to him as Zeruzeru. However, what he then said next left his listeners dumbfounded.
Contrary to the barrage of insults and piles of obscenities that were expected to come flying out of the former senator’s mouth, instead, he politely explained that Zeruzeru is a word that though widely used, is considered offensive by people living with albinism.
He was speaking on Radio Jambo’s Mazungumzo Wazi Wazi which was hosted by Bramwell Mwololo. Others on the show were Amani National Congress Youth League Spokesperson Nathaniel Mong’are, Hustler Nation member and DP Ruto supporter Gerald Bitok and lawyer cum activist, Brian Weke.
Mwaura went ahead to politely explain that the Taasisi of Kiswahili has even discouraged usage of the word and instead encouraged people to refer to people living with albinism as Watu wanaoishi na ulemavu wa ngozi.
People with albinism are exposed to stigma all around the world, in the United States as well as in Africa. The main reason for this is the visible manifestation of albinism, namely the hypopigmentation of the skin. In Africa, people with albinism are often either considered supernatural beings in contact with the anti-world of sorcerers or water spirits or viewed as common persons who are being punished for the past mistakes of their family members, particularly the infidelity of their mothers. In addition to these explanations, albinism can be also articulated as God’s will.
Specifically in Kenya, there have previously been cases of abductions of people living with albinism where there have been sold to neighbouring Tanzania after where they are killed through ritual killings.
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