Bibiana , a living talisman

Bibiana , a living talisman

Bibiana is 13 years old and lives in Tanzania. Orphaned, she was the victim ofmutilization simply because she was born albino, and is considered to be a goodluck charm.


Bibiana has white skin although she lives in Tanzania and is African. She is a member of thegroup of people known as ‘albino’. Due to a genetic disorder, their skin has no pigment and theyare prone to the effects of the sun’s rays. And because albinos tend to live in the hottest regionsof the Earth, the disorder is even more difficult to live with! Fate sometimes plays a bad handand they are dogged by bad luck, for in Tanzania when you are born albino, you are consideredto be a good-luck charm; the witches and witchdoctors said so. In a country where witchcraftis very much alive, an albino can be sold for protection against a prediction or a spell, or to beused to find gold on someone’s land or as help get an important job. Popular thought does nothelp to abolish these barbaric acts, as most people think that an albino’s amputated limbs willgrow back; because of their physical difference, they are attributed magical characteristics.

But there is nothing magical about Bibiana, she is just a ten-year-old girl who had one of herlegs amputated to help tell somebody’s future. Her leg, of course, did not magically grow back.Orphaned, she was picked up by a deputy, Mrs Shaymaa Kwegyir, herself an albino who fightson behalf of those who look like her.

Bibiana tells the story of her life, which is the same as other albinos, and of her traumas, of herfears and of her will to live.

• the story of an albino girl who survived a barbaric act and wants hervoice to be heard

• all persons are worthy of love, respect and, above all, dignity

Bibiana is 13 years old. She was born an albino inTanzania and was the victim of a barbaric act simplybecause of her physical appearance.

Publication date: september 2012

Pages: 250

Rights available: world

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