“I used to be ashamed of myself” – Nigerian woman living with Albinism, shares her journey to self-love and acceptance after battling with suicidal thoughts

A Nigerian woman Idowu Mary Ronke, who has albinism has shared her journey to self-love and acceptance after battling with suicidal thoughts.

On Monday September 7, “In a post titled “Specially and wonderfully made” Idowu shared how she learned to overcome stigmatization and found self-acceptance after years of battling with suicidal thoughts, bodyshaming and discrimination.

“I’m a kind of person that used to be ashamed of myself for being an Albino, and that’s because of how people always make gest of me by calling me “afin” (albino) and sometimes they’ll call me “afin o n jeyo” ( albino doesn’t take salt), and that always got me being body-shamed, to the extent that I would be weeping and crying, it got to a point where I thought of taking my life, cos I felt so discriminated and criticized,”.

Unlike many Albinos who face a variety of health care, dermatological and opthalmologic issues like sunburn and risk of skin cancers, Ronke said her skin looks fresh and healthy. This she credited to her grandmother, who loved and took good care of her.

But my grandma loved and tried all her possible best to take good care of me and my big sis, (of the same skin color) that people always wondered if I do take salt at all, cos of these theories that albinos don’t take salt, and I always take salt, cos I do eat the same food that others eat. Meanwhile, on the other side, some people would just call me anytime I walk on the street, and they would start appreciating and glorifying God through me, and would even be praying for the person who is taking care of me,” she wrote.

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Ronke also shared an encounter with a lady that further boosted her self-confidence and self esteem.

“There was a day I went to a bank, and the cashier, after deposited my money, asked me about my name, and I told her, and she also asked if I always take salt, and I said yes, she then said “please can you do me a favor” I said yes, and she said “pls when you get home, tell the person you stay with, regardless of who the person is, tell him/her, that I said thank him/her for taking care of you, because you are so fresh and clean and beautiful” I was like, awwwnnn thank you. Since then I’ve been feeling myself and also proud of myself, because I’m specially made.
Want to use this medium to appreciate my late grandma for the cares and maintenance of my skin color and that of my big sis.”

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