I Am an Albino Escapee

Family Issue: A Story of Child Sacrifice

I knew I was different right from as far back as I can remember. My skin was not right and I would break out into this terrible blisters at the merest hint of sunlight. I was born in Africa but now live in the USA. In fact; I was rescued by a very kind woman. Janet, her husband and her two boys have been my anchor. Many people ask me about my “real family”. I can understand their perplexed looks. Although I am a light-skinned Albino of African descent, it is pretty obvious that I am a black person. Janet and her family are as white as they come so it is something of a faux pas when we are walking together as a family.

I have been with them since 2012 when I was 13 but the questions keep coming and I do not blame the people for asking them. At the same time, I would highlight the fact that so many American couples are adopting African children these days so people should start getting used to these ethnically blended families. Anyway, my own biological family is dead to me. I know that sounds cold but you would not expect me to have any relationship with people who sold me for the paltry price of $1200. I converted the money then and have been adjusting it for inflation ever since, just to remind myself of how close I was to death.

When they heard that I was being adopted, my mother stormed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs demanding that I be returned to her. She did not find me there. I had been rescued by a charity worker and hidden for months. Jacob (who was interrogated by my family about my whereabouts) fled the village. We found a shanty room in a discreet fishing village, keeping a low profile until he was able to place me with Janet. In between, there was the probation service and a lengthy adoption process. I had to testify about the abuse I had suffered and the imminent dangers for me. The judge was quite reluctant to hand me over to “this white woman”. There were rumors that African children were being exported to the USA and other developed countries in order to be abused by pedophiles.

Janet Fights My Cause

Family Issue: I Am an Albino Escapee | Love is a Rainbow

I was there for part of the hearing and Janet made a passionate compelling case for me. She had a good job and her husband was a successful small business owner. They were a good Christian family and had raised two exemplary boys. The extended family included 7 uncles and aunts with their children as well as two living grandparents. You really could not find a fault with the set up if you tried. The judge was clutching at straws. It was pretty clear that I would be infinitely better off with Janet than my biological parents. Just to drive the point home and leave no stone unturned, Jacob recounted the kind of abuse and dangers I faced if I lived with my parents.

My father was a polygamous ex-school teacher who had been struck off for abusing his students. My mother was a stay-at-home mum who had become an alcoholic. She started off selling a local gin for a pittance but then fell into the habit of sampling the wares. She notorious for sleeping with her customers at the end of her daily drinking marathons. Although she had HIV and was in the latter stages of AIDS, remarkably my father was still HIV negative. I had 38 siblings from 7 step mothers. None of them had gone beyond primary school. We were dirt poor literally and figuratively. My father had sold everything he had including his inherited land. Now he was reduced to accepting the charity of a landlord with whom he had a crop share agreement.

Family Issue: The Albino Child that is a Cure for AIDS

Family Issue: I Am an Albino Escapee | Love is a Rainbow

My mother was only 45 but she looked 70. It is assumed that she acquired HIV in her late 30s. The disease had ravaged her mercilessly but she refused to go to the local HIV clinic where Anti-Retroviral Drugs were provided free of charge by the government. Apparently she preferred to die in painful denial than to live with the shame of having caught “the disease”. Since I was a young girl, I was always required to help care for my mother. She was neither a grateful nor a compliant patient. She would call me all the names under the sun and sometimes even undressed in front of me; showing her private parts as a curse. Now I understand that she was suffering from HIV-related dementia.

Anyway, my father took her to a series of witchdoctors who duly took away all the little money that she had extracted from her extended family through begging for assistance. They gave her so many improbable explanations including being bewitched by her co-wives. We all knew that my mother had HIV. There had been a free testing service in our area and she had been tested. The testing officer was typically unethical and actually told people that there were 4 people who had come out positive. Immediately it became known that my mother was one of them. They assumed my father was the other but he was not. He showed me his own test saying that he was negative. The other three were not related to us but in any case the cat was out of the bag.

My mother was advised to attend the clinic to get counselling and treatment. She never turned up. Instead she started fantasizing that it was witchcraft that would eventually kill her if she did not get medicine from the local charlatans who masqueraded as witchdoctors. Anyway one of them told her that she would be completely cured if she would sacrifice me to the gods. Apparently I was a cursed child and the gods wanted me to return to them in order to allow the family to live in peace. The witchdoctor alleged that I was an evil spirit that had brought all the suffering to the family including getting my father sacked for his perversions. It was then decided in a family meeting that they would sacrifice me for the good of the family, especially since I was “weird-looking”. All this was recounted to me by my paternal aunt Stella who had helped me to escape. Aunt Stella is the only member of my biological family that I speak to these days.

The Execution that Failed

Family Issue: I Am an Albino Escapee | Love is a Rainbow

Aunt Stella told me that escaping was a matter of urgency. I was to leave with nothing and just disappear as I went to the well to fetch water. I was so frightened at the time and bewildered also. I now realize why there were never any Albinos in my community…they had all been sacrificed and I was heading the same way if I did not follow my aunt’s instructions. That was the beginning of the rescue. The more I thought about it as I was in the USA, the angrier I got.

How could a parent conceive that their child was responsible for their alcoholism, sexual immorality and HIV infection? What did I ever do to them to deserve such abuse? Had I not cared for my mother when she was having constant diarrhea? Was I not the one that wiped her shit and vomit? Was I not the one that put up with her insults even as I treated her? Was I not the one that had been permanently pulled out of class one day so that I could look after my sick mother despite the fact that I was always among the top three performers?

I doubt these questions will ever be fully answered. I have come to the conclusion that my biological family is just evil. The fact that my siblings and extended family sat in a meeting to fashion my demise is hurtful and shocking. Now that I am in the USA, I keep getting begging letters from them. They want tuition money, food money, entertainment money, investment money…. money is the common theme. I do not respond to the letters because I seriously doubt they are worth the bother. Meanwhile the letters get angrier and angrier. I know that my biological mother has now started ARV therapy since she was threatened with being imprisoned for deliberately infecting her customers.

My biological father has these big plans about investing and opening up a business. He writes that I should be a dutiful daughter and forgive. I say…never, never, never. They are cowards and scoundrels. Their interest is not in me but the money and opportunities I can offer to them. Janet is my mother now. Frank is my father. Jeff and Josh are my siblings. The rest can go to straight to hell…the hell that they were so willing to send to me at the behest of a quack witchdoctor. My enduring disappointment is that my home country does not have an effective child protective service. My biological parents deserve nothing but to be locked up for a very long time.