Saturday, May 22, 2010

TEDxDAR: Babu Sikare

"I was held accountable for everything"...just like everyone else. Babu said that his family was careful not to treat him any differently than his other siblings. There is a tendency in Tanzanian families to hide the kid with the disability, or 'protect' them from the world or the consequences of their disability. Sikare pointed out that his family was incredible in terms of making sure that wasn't the case for him- they probably knew that life would hold challenges enough without them making things complicated. Touchingly, several members of his family are here at TEDxDAR to support Babu.

So Babu has struggled and succeeded to build what he calls a Normal Life and what I call Self Actualization. He's an actor, a performer, evidently successful, in spite of his very real challenges and limitations. And now he is working as an ambassador against the killing of Albinos in our fair land.* He has a pragmatic approach: creating social awareness means explaining to people what causes albinism. But there is a hidden side to the story: albino killings get a lot of press coverage because of the gruesome nature of the 'entertainment.' However, on average albinos die by the age of 35 because of cancer. Not a sexy story, no press coverage. And so to address this issue, he started an organization. Check out Afrobino.

*Like, what the heck is up with that social insanity? I can't even begin to unpack the pathologies inherent in that practice. Kulikoni?

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