Senegal Hosts Fashion Show to Combat Stigma Against People with Albinism and Vitiligo

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In a vibrant display of inclusivity and diversity, a special fashion collection was unveiled in Senegal as part of a campaign to combat the stigma faced by individuals with albinism or vitiligo. This inclusive fashion show, featuring both professional and non-professional models, aimed to proudly showcase differences and challenge societal perceptions.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of Hann Park, around twenty models with various skin tones paraded down the runway. They donned pieces from Romzy’s latest collection, including leopard-print dresses, oversized straw hats, and zebra-patterned jackets. The event left a lasting impression on spectators, including Meriem Djelassi.

“I was deeply moved by the emotion surrounding the event and the unique selection of models. It adds a special touch because these are not just models; they are individuals with stories to tell,” Djelassi remarked.

One of the non-professional models, Jorlaine Oden Minko, is a 19-year-old woman with vitiligo, characterized by white patches on her skin. For Jorlaine, participating in the fashion show was a significant step toward self-acceptance.

“Even though we are in front of people and modeling, it allows me to put myself out there and embrace what I have, even if I am different from others. Growing up, it was somewhat challenging, but before wanting others to accept me, I wanted to accept myself first,” Jorlaine explained.

Abdoulaziz Sané, a seasoned model with seven years of experience, also participated in the event. The 24-year-old albino, known for his white skin and curly hair, has established his own modeling agency to change perceptions about people with albinism.

“I thought, why not be a spokesperson who can bring something more positive, to raise awareness and show people that as individuals living with albinism, we are just like everyone else,” Sané said.

According to the National Association of Albinos of Senegal (ANAS), over 10,000 individuals with albinism have been registered in the country. This fashion show serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of acceptance and the beauty of diversity, challenging stigmas and fostering a more inclusive society.


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