An island refuge for Tanzania's albino people

Albino people in Ukerewe Island in Lake Victoria during International Albinism Awareness day on June 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO | CARL DE SOUZA

What you need to know:

  • Over the years, Ukerewe has become known as a haven for people with albinism.
  • People say that it started long ago when families would abandon their albino relatives on the island, believing their unusual, ghostly appearance was the sign of a curse.
  • They survived and thrived and others, ostracised by society, made their way there too.

It's an hour after dawn on Ukerewe island in Lake Victoria and  Alphonce Yakobo, face and hands withered by the scorching sun that has tortured his pigment-free skin for all of his 57 years, is vigorously sweeping the leaves outside his house.

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