Shining a Positive Light
Perseverance certainly describes Thando Hopa. Not only is Hopa a court prosecutor and model, she is an activist fighting to change perceptions of people who suffer from Albinism (an inherited lack of pigmentation of skin from head to toe) .
Reports of people with Albinism being murdered and their organs trafficked are not uncommon in some parts of Africa, but extremely rare in South Africa.
Albinism is extremely high in Tanzania and those with this skin disorder are increasingly the victims of brutal attacks.
In school Hopa endured teasing and students refused to sit next to her because of her Albinism. It’s common among folks with Albinism to have poor eyesight. But Hopa teachers misinterpreted her poor eyesight as a sign of her being mentally challenged. Hopa uses a magnifying glass to read, and is not allowed to drive.
Her private space would be invaded by strangers who would hug her for good luck, while others spat at her to ward off bad luck. Luckily for Hopa, she was always told by her parents that she was “the most beautiful little girl,” which help her self esteem. Encouraged to do a photoshoot by her sister, Thando have graced countless magazine pages and covers, walked runways and most importantly uses the opportunity to educate us about Albinism and motivate and inspire others with this condition.