People with Albinism Ambassadoe hopes to change how they are viewed
by Nande Fayo​

Her charisma is one of the first inevitable things you would notice about her when you meet her. The newly crowned Miss Albinism South Africa Ambassador Mandisa Makhunga, wears the Ambassador belt with such enthusiasm and devine energy.

The 35 year old, born and raised in Stutterheim and currently residing in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape is an Internal Auditing graduate and currently studying B.A in Human Science at UNISA. She says her mission in life  is to live a life of impact and the title  assists her in pursuing her mission of  doing better for herself and for the next generations of People with Albinism (PWA).

Makunga is one of many people living with Albinism, an inherited condition that leads to someone having very light skin, hair, and eyes. It happens because they have less melanin than usual in their body. Melanin gives skin, hair, and eyes their color. Except for vision problems, most people with albinism are just as healthy as anyone else. 

She says her  responsibilities as an Albinism ambassador is to create Albinism awareness, where they dispute the myths around Albinism and stamp the facts on what Albinism  is and also include empowering and motivating the younger PWA to do better and be better. 

Makunga says she first experienced the name calling when she was 6 years old. Her late grandmother taught her that  she is not what people called her. “I ought to look in the mirror and see the beauty of the the person that was God created. She taught  me that we are not meant to be the same, we are all born to be different, that is what I grew up with and it is still my motto”. 

The former  General  Secretary for Albinism South Africa  in the Eastern  Cape, says  she is currently   busy with the registration of an NGO in order to educate and empower those living with Albinism.“I want the next generation of PWA to live in a free world with no myths and discrimination,  I believe that the change starts with me and I am the change that I would like to see . I think that people should do better or ask what they do not understand  about our condition,” she said.