No much research has been done on vitiligo in South Africa, but as far we know vitiligo has been around for many decades. This evidence lies on old people that we have personally met in South Africa. We have undertaken a research on Vitiligo trying to to get answers on the condition that has caused emotional stress and fear among individuals in the society. As i was growing being the only one with vitiligo i was scolded, isolated and tormented of my skin colour. This led to the quest to bring out the myths on vitiligo and let the world know what vitiligo means in our communities:
Mollo wa badimo this is a Tswana saying which meant you have been burnt by ancestral fires who are not happy about something. This has been one of the most popular definitions of vitiligo in the communities and upto now its still vibrant.
- O madi mabi– you have bad luck
- One has a spiritual calling to be a Sangoma traditional healer
- You have been bewitched
- You are cursed
These are some of the few myths that people say in the communities and they prompted me to create a platform of viducation. Its through such myths that the communities develop hatred and hostile feelings against vitiligians.After all has been said and done, during one of my first events in a small town near Johannesburg known as Witbank i encountered other cases of vitiligo as shown below:
She is a health practitioner and she is 75 years old. Her vitiligo started at the age of 50.
Location: Witbank, Mpumalaga, South Africa.
No one knows hoe her vitiligo started.
She has been living with vitiligo for one year and it turned completely into white. The whole family has been diagnosed with vitiligo. How does vitiligo spread so fast and others slow?
She has been having vitiligo for the last six months(January 2011). How is it possible vitiligo can start at the age of 37?
These are some of the few unanswered questions about vitiligo and the myths around South African Communities.