The Post Newspapers Zambia
By SowetanLive on Sunday 30 September 2012, 12:10:00 CAT (29915 Reads)
DEFYING THE ODDS: Thubelihle Mpisi
"White k****r" and "spook" are some of the horrible names Thubelihle Sbonakaliso Mpisi has been called. But instead of feeling sorry for himself about being a person with albinism, the 19-year-old has pushed himself to strive for excellence.
Mpisi has not allowed the condition or insults to limit his ambitions. He says were it not for the condition, he would not have become the perfectionist that he is today.
Mpisi, from Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal, got seven distinctions in Grade 12. He is now a second-year LLB student at the University of Pretoria.
He says the discrimination he experienced since childhood has made him a better person.
Being called names encouraged him to write his autobiography, called 'Talkative Skin'.
The book, which takes the reader on the journey of Mpisi's life and challenges, is due to be released early next year.
Mpisi believes that one has to be a strong and motivated person to beat the odds. He says the biggest challenge is myths about people with albinism.
"I always say all of us are victims of discrimination - from the cradle to the grave.
"The condition has made me examine my own prejudices. I don't allow for mistakes because we are always judged because of the colour of our skin.
"From childhood I have experienced so much discrimination. Teachers and students used to give me attitude, but I never cared because my parents loved me. Whatever they said motivated me."
Mpisi says: "If we do not respect ourselves no one else will."
He says he hopes the book will also debunk the myths about albinism. Myths such as albinos do not die like other people but just disappear and that their blood is not red but blue.
"We die like everyone else," he says.