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The first ever Mr and Miss Albinism East Africa

With its motto ‘Beauty Beyond the Skin’, the contest aimed to demystify the condition of people living with albinism.

The first ever Mr and Miss Albinism East Africa

The first ever edition of Mr and Miss Albinism East Africa brought together 30 contestants from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in Kenya’s capital Nairobi to crown young people with albinism.


Photo: Luis Tato / Contestants have a walk and chat while visiting a park in Nairobi as they are trained for their show during the boot camp prior to the Mr and Miss Albinism East Africa pageant in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 29, 2018. 30 contestants from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda compete under the theme ‘Beauty beyond the skin’ to raise awareness of their challenges with albinism. The event aims to promote social inclusion and raise the self-esteem of albinos, who frequently face discrimination and stigma.

Through its motto, “Beauty Beyond the Skin”, the contest is not just a beauty pageant, but a way to raise awareness and inclusion for people who remain the target of sometimes deadly stigma in Africa.


Photo: Luis Tato / Male contestants gather together while getting some indications by a professional model as they are trained for their show during the boot camp prior to the Mr and Miss Albinism East Africa pageant in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 29, 2018. 30 contestants from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda compete under the theme ‘Beauty beyond the skin’ to raise awareness of their challenges with albinism. The event aims to promote social inclusion and raise the self-esteem of albinos, who frequently face discrimination and stigma.

Organized by the Albinism Society of Kenya with partners in Uganda and Tanzania, the contest aims to demystify the condition of people living with albinism and affirm their inherent dignity while challenging myths, misconceptions and negative beliefs around the disorder.


Photo: Luis Tato / Contestants stand in line while getting some indications by a professional model as they rehearse for their show during the boot camp prior to the Mr and Miss Albinism East Africa pageant in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 29, 2018. 30 contestants from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda compete under the theme ‘Beauty beyond the skin’ to raise awareness of their challenges with albinism. The event aims to promote social inclusion and raise the self-esteem of albinos, who frequently face discrimination and stigma.

The main event was a culmination of auditions held in several countries and a 10-day boot camp where the 30 final participants trained to improve their modeling skills. The contest was aimed at facilitating positive interaction between people with albinism and the society.


Photo: Luis Tato / Kenyan contestant Lucianah Nyawira (21) wears a traditional costume as she performs during Mr and Miss Albinism East Africa pageant in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 30, 2018. 30 contestants from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda compete under the theme ‘Beauty beyond the skin’. The event aims to promote social inclusion and raise the self-esteem of albinos, who frequently face discrimination and stigma.

“It is about self-esteem. I gained more confidence addressing the big crowd during the event. I was just having so much fun,” said 21-year-old Sherleen Tunai Lumumba, one of the contestants from Kenya.


Photo: Luis Tato / Contestants visit a fashion designer’s workshop in downtown Nairobi to get their gala dresses ready a few days before the Mr and Miss Albinism East Africa event in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 29, 2018. 30 contestants from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda compete under the theme ‘Beauty beyond the skin’ to raise awareness of their challenges with albinism. The event aims to promote social inclusion and raise the self-esteem of albinos, who frequently face discrimination and stigma.

“I made a lot of new friends from different African countries and this event helped me to create new links with people living with albinism.”

Twenty-year-old Silas Shedrack from Tanzania and 19-year-old Maryanne Muigai from Kenya were crowned the winners. They received cash prizes and were named ambassadors for the partner organisations for a year.

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