Care to read Part 1 here
It was exactly 2 years after the tragic death of my son, some unruly over-speeding guy who knocked off my son and he died on the spot. The police blamed me for negligence. I blamed the council for not putting speed humps on the road and more directly the driver for a speed too much in a residential area.
As I came out of the shops I saw kids laughing and pointing to a corner. Curiosity got the best of me. I went there only to discover that there was a child being mocked and bullied. People shouted at her. Moreso nobody wanted to touch him. I asked for the parents and was directed to a house in the middle of the neighborhood.
The mother of the child was in a temper. Step mom to be exact. She didn’t want to hear anything to do with the kid. I offered to take care of the kid for her, after narrating my odeal. She looked stern then smiled. A deal was sealed.
The rumor mill began circulating again. How on earth could I adopt a child. Everyone called me cursed. Moreso with the condition of the child, everyone felt it was taboo to have such a child. It was unheard off. An abomination in this part of the world. If only they knew better. Muhammad Ali once said “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”
I took great care of my newly adopted son like he was my own. He was now my own. His relatives had denied him. They had cast him away. My teachings tells me that “Our true nationality is mankind”
Enrolling him into school was a nightmare. The headmaster only agreed after reaching an agreement that he would sit on his own desk.
If I thought raising a child out of wedlock was a nightmare then try raising a child who has been condemned by the society. It didn’t help matters as I too, was condemned by the same society for promiscuity, giving birth at 17 to what I still boldly declare was out of love than anything else.
My begging routine increased. I did all the work that was available to cloth this boy. To feed him and to educate him. He is one boy who had a hobo of nicknames. When he came home one day looking pale, I was worried. After he had told me that he fancied a girl and proposed to her but was rejected because of his condition I felt a lump on my throat. I was angry.
He never did sports at school. I remember too well that when he was a soccer team goalkeeper the other schools boycotted the match altogether unless if he was removed from the team. His only ability that no one could dispute was his intelligence. He always excelled in school and thus earned him a few friends. Friends at school only, all because he had left for Harvard where he graduated with a degree in Medicine.
It was only 8 years later when he came back treating an outbreak disease. The disease had wiped out homes and continued to do so. After a lengthy telephone conversation he had sort donations from #CDC and #WHO, he led the team of doctors to eradicate the disease. He chose his home area first since it was marginalized.
As people waited in the hall for the Doctors from America to arrive and cure their kids, people were chatting noisily and some trying to out do others in speaking. The first 5 doctors walked in and people applauded, then he walked in last and there was stone silence. Everyone couldn’t believe their eyes, others mouth opened, others half smiling and some frozen half way when they clapped.
“But he is an Albino”, the elderly gentleman pointed to him with his cane. “Our society does not allow Albinos, that’s why we have too much rains. It’s taboo. It’s a tell tale sign”
Sensing tension the Health minister said “I present to you one of the best doctors the country has ever produced, your own kinsman and the leader of the team. Please let’s not be racist and give him a round of applause”
His opening remark was simple but loaded with message. “Mindsets play strange tricks on us,” he said. “We see things the way our minds have instructed our eyes to see…”
At the corner of the Hall I just thought to myself “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them
NB. Written in solidarity with Albinos world over who are subjected by their society.
*Based on a false story.