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BN Skin Deep Series: Life as an African Oyinbo – Living as an Albino

BellaNaija.com

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BN Skin Deep Series is a 3 piece series which aims to provide an intimate account into the lives of people with various skin conditions (Vitiligo, Psoriasis and Albinism). The aim of this series is to create awareness of these conditions and help people both understand and appreciate the realities of living with these skin conditions. This is the final part of the series. We hope you enjoyed it, please do leave feedback and let us know if you would like us to cover such topics in the future

My Name is Yvonne Edozien and I am an Albino. Albinism is a congenital disorder (defects in or damage in a developing fetus) characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of an enzyme involved in the production of melanin. The primary cause of albinism is the inheritance of recessive gene alleles (particular type of DNA sequence). Thus I hope this corrects the popular belief that if a light person marries another light person they are likely to have albino children. This is quite incorrect.

Sadly, being an albino sometimes comes with pretty severe sight issues and I wasn’t one of those lucky enough to escape that. I should however stress that not all albinos have this condition. For instance my older sister who is also an albino can see as clearly as the next person. In addition to being short sighted and having astigmatism, I suffer from something called Nystagmus, which in a nutshell is the involuntary wobbling/movement of the eyes which reduces the ability of the eye to focus thus decreasing visibility. I started struggling with my sight when I was about 17. I mean, its not like I could see any better before then but at this age, I think my sight stabilised. So I’d go for my annual eye test, complain about the fact that my glasses aren’t strong enough and I’d get told my prescription hadn’t changed from the previous year. I’d sit in the optician’s chair frustrated while they tried this lens and that and the longer this went on, the more my vision would blur (from the effort of figuring out what letters were now clearer, if any…glasses wearers know the drill) and the more confused and frustrated I’d get. I went through a difficult phase where I was constantly being advised to see one eye doctor or the other, family and well wishers wouldn’t accept ‘nothing could be done’. After getting my hopes raised…and dashed…more times than I care to remember, not to mention the embarrassment of crying at the end of an eye examination, I put an end to that.

Being the odd one out is probably the last thing any child wants. As a young girl, the last thing you want is for conversations to stop when you walk into a room, to be stared at and pointed at constantly, to have people (old and young) stand outside your car staring in at you every time you so much as stop for 10 seconds in traffic. The last thing you want is to have younger kids burst into tears when they look at you, to not be able to find the person who has come to pick you up from school because you can’t see far enough to spot them, to not be able to do the things your friends can, because you are ‘special’. Growing up as an albino was all that and more.

Truthfully, things haven’t changed much. I still get pointed at, stared at, and called all sorts. I still get asked why my parents are black and I’m white, and I definitely still get asked why I won’t get stronger glasses. The one difference is I’m now very ready, very willing, and very able to speak up.

Life as an Albino: The challenges

I think most of my challenges with living as an albino came during my time in secondary school. For instance, I struggled through every test in secondary school because my teachers couldn’t (or wouldn’t?) understand why someone who couldn’t see the board wouldn’t simply get stronger glasses. I guess I can’t blame them, I still get asked that all the time. Back then though, speaking up wasn’t an option…secondary school in Nigeria, need I say more? So, I suffered and smiled, and my dear friends did their best…copying test questions onto sheets of paper and sneaking them to me.

I have come to accept that I’ll quite likely always see things in shapes and colours and while I’ve crossed the education hurdle, somehow going as far as a masters degree without being able to read off a black/white board, I am now dealing with the fact that I can have a car parked outside and have the car keys in my hand, and still not be able to go ANYWHERE if I can’t find someone to drive me. Having sight that’s so poor I’m unable to drive is probably the single biggest disadvantage of being an albino, for me. Someone has to take me to work, someone has to bring me home after work, I have to get someone to accompany me if I have to go places I’m unfamiliar with, and lets not even discuss the utter chaos my life becomes if I have to venture near an airport alone. As an otherwise independent person, it’s hard to have to structure my life around other people. Fortunately, I am surrounded by amazing people; my family, friends and colleagues make it so much easier to deal with this limitation…as grateful as I am to them, however, they do have their own lives, which they can’t always put on hold for me. As my friends often tease, this does mean I can only date “nice people”

Aside from my sight issues, my complexion also meant facing a new day in school was a constant battle…one I only managed to get through after my amazing mother gave me her ‘you are special’ speech. On my 21st birthday, my mother reminded me that I’d at some point asked them to build a school for me at home. Naturally I don’t remember saying this but I’m not at all surprised that I did. I definitely remember wanting to hide at home, where I wasn’t such a strange person to look at. A few memories stand out, from that period in my life. When I was in secondary school, my younger sister and brother were in primary school, and I remember getting to the point where I stopped attending plays, interhouse sports, etc because I didn’t want them to have to deal with all the looks, questions and comments that came with having me as an older sister.

When I was much younger, I felt the need to be like and do what everyone else was doing….to a reasonable extent of course. So, if my friends were going swimming at 2pm (you know what the sun is like in Lagos at 2pm), I simply wasn’t able to sit quietly in a shaded area and watch. I’d tell myself I’ll swim “only for a few minutes” and if I stayed under water mostly, the sun wouldn’t do much damage. After going home sunburnt and in pain numerous times, wisdom prevailed. Imagine having what feels like a hot water burn all over your arms, your legs, your face, your back…your skin is raw and the slightest touch causes a lot of pain. Needless to say, I’m now very comfortable watching from the sidelines. I love sitting on the beach, under an umbrella (wearing shades and a hat, of course), with a good book!

Today, the slightest exposure to the sun gives me a headache, even when I’m sitting in a car. It’s like someone is shining a really bright light straight into my eyes. To deal with this, I wear sunshades constantly during the day. I’ve since come to understand that this excessive sensitivity to light is called ‘Photophobia’ and happens because my eyes let in too much light.

In addition to the related medical conditions, being an albino does have some effect on my social life, or at least on the perception people have of me. Back in secondary school, I was constantly being accused of ‘looking down at people’, something the ‘seniors’ didn’t find at all amusing. Years later, and thanks to the internet, I’ve discovered this funny head posture is my ‘null point’, and I automatically adopt this posture because in that position, my eyes don’t wobble as much and my vision is slightly clearer. I’ve come to accept that people who don’t know me too well will always think I’m a snob or unfriendly, because apparently they were waving to me from across a room and I didn’t wave back, or because they said hi to me and I didn’t recognise them (made far worse by the fact that I’m obviously easy to remember due to my complexion). Sadly, I can’t go around with an ‘I’m partially sighted’ sign on my forehead so that’s one battle I can’t do much about.

Misconceptions

It is sad that even in the 21st century and even with much technological advancement people still have less than knowledgable understanding about albinism. I really have heard almost everything, from the insane to the downright ridiculous. A few years ago, I had an argument with a friend because he was adamant in his belief that I was unable to eat salt and pepper. Given how much I love spicy food, this argument was very amusing. He concluded by saying that if indeed it was true that I eat regular meals, I must be only partially albino.

I recently found out that as far back as secondary school, it was rumoured that my family took annual holidays because my sister and I needed to take some special injection to keep our skin smooth, my mum apparently also had some special cream she used. I have people come up to me from time to time, within and outside Nigeria, asking how I keep my skin this way because they have a sister/friend/daughter who is an albino and has bad skin, and they look so hopeful, I’d wish that rumoured special injection/special cream was indeed real.

Sadly, some of the misconceptions have grave/fatal consequences. It is heartbreaking to find out that this far into the 21st century, people are still being killed because it is believed their body parts hold the answer to wealth. While I often spend a bit of time reading about these incidents as they unfold, it’s quite difficult to accept that it’s real, and talk about it, so I won’t.

The Positive Side

If nothing else, being an albino makes life interesting. With each new day, there’s a possibility I’d hear some very flattering comments, meet the most ignorant person or find out some myth about albinos I was previously unaware of. Sometimes I feel like I’m a bit of an experiment…to myself. Unlike with skin conditions one develops, I never think of the future, how things will unfold in the long run. I have grown to love being different and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t change my skin colour even if I could.

Unlike with vitiligo and psoriasis which were previously discussed in this series, I haven’t had to get used to a change in my life. I was born this way and I’ve had almost three decades to get used to it. You look in the mirror everyday and you see the same thing, sooner or later you stop seeing it. I stopped seeing my skin colour a long time ago and I know the same is true for my family and close friends. My siblings are constantly surprised when I relay derogatory comments because they can’t imagine that people “still think that way”. They are also very protective and more than willing to educate anyone who somehow thinks they are entitled to make these comments within earshot. Interestingly, my immediate elder sister, who is also “light skinned” is the most protective and is someone I definitely want to have in my corner when necessary.

This is my life though and I’m completely comfortable with it. I truly like being different and if I were honest, while there are some people who will always see an ‘albino’ as opposed to seeing Yvonne, those people are outnumbered. I’m constantly getting complimented on my skin, my hair, even my eyes (which are constantly dancing around). I live a very normal life; I have a pretty good job, my social life is as vibrant as I want it to be and I’m completely surrounded by amazing family and friends. My skin colour only affects my life today because of the medical/physical implications and not much else.

Advice to Other Albinos

From a physical/medical perspective, I’d advise others to be careful, and look after themselves. Each one of us isn’t alone, and our experiences are not unique to us. Information is a lot more accessible with the internet and I’ve found that I’ve been able to deal with related issues, even at work, by sharing other people’s experiences with those who do not understand. The more people understand, the more capable they are of making life more comfortable for me, or at least the less likely they are to make life more difficult.

Health issues like skin cancer are very real, and very unpleasant, and we should each take steps to ensure we guard against them. Recently, there’s been a lot in the papers about albinism and skin cancer. People are being educated about the very real danger of skin cancer as a result of constant exposure to the sun. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this advice is coming too late. I stopped spending time in the sun many years ago but even I cannot boast of truly understanding the potential consequences. I stayed out of the sun simply because it hurt too much to do otherwise, and I was fortunate enough to have that option.

Sunburnt arm

Lastly, it is very important to surround yourself with supportive people, people who are comfortable with who you are and wouldn’t have you any other way. I’m able to admit a lot of my confidence comes from the way I’m treated by my family and friends. It is hard to feel like there’s something wrong with me when I’m constantly being complimented. I might have no control over my skin colour but everything that comes after that is up to me; my clothes, my hair, my make-up. When I step out of my house I feel good about myself and it shows. Yes, maybe I feel I have to make an extra effort, but even that’s my little secret. I was born this way for a reason and I know God wouldn’t give me more than I can handle. I read a quote recently that perfectly sums up the way I feel: “Do not wish to be anything but who you are, and try to be that perfectly” (St. Francis de Sales).

Photo Credits: www.willandbeyond.com; Seyi Charles George Photography

124 Comments

  1. kehnie

    October 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    oooooooooh,this is so sweet and encouraging!!!!!!!!<3

    • Amour

      October 9, 2010 at 12:52 am

      I guess I was one of the ‘ignorant people’ until I read your story. I agree with Kehnie, it really is a lovely story. I remember growing up, people used to say ‘afin okin jeyo’ meaning Albinos don’t eat salt. Thank God for your life. All the best.xxx

      http://temiville.wordpress.com/

    • James

      January 30, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Dear I appreciate u a lot for really I do admire u alot and am really impressed and touched with ur write up keep de fire burning carry on

  2. shade

    October 8, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Yvonne. Very inspirational. Hopefully, through education and exposure, ignorance about various skin conditions becomes a thing of the past. The best of luck with everything and thank God for your amazing family and friends.

  3. Buchi

    October 8, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Yvonne, I was inspired to read this post, not because you have had to deal with a lot, even though that is true or because of the optimism and zeal for life that radiates from each word. It is because of how grounded you appear. You are a beautiful intelligent woman, who happens to have albinism and from your post it is clear that it doesn’t define you. Thank you for your post.

  4. winneR

    October 8, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Seriously i’m 1st 2 comment?Oh Joy!
    But i’l probably check back in a few days & c i’m actually 10th or something like dat,any hoo,oh Joy while dis ignorance lasts!
    I loved dis write up,truly insightful & Yvonne girl friend u look quite a babe!
    Tanx 4 sharing on this forum.

  5. Iya

    October 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Yvonne, i think you are absolutely beautiful judging from your pictures! You are fearfully and wonderfully made and thats what God thinks of you, and that should be what truly matters. I am happy you are surrounded by wonderful and supportive people. All the best!

  6. Yaya84

    October 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story with the community! You are beautiful and I hope this sheds light on some questions many may have!

    Stay Blessed!

  7. October Girl

    October 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks Bella for putting this article up and thank you Yvonne for been so brave and sharing your life experiences with albinism. I wish you all the best.

  8. Myne Whitman

    October 8, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    You’re beautiful and that’s the truth. I loved your write-up and even I am inspired by it. I’ve known a lot of albinos, both close and far, my school mother included. And like you, I also find it difficult to imagine the extreme prejudices some people have against albinos, just because of skin color. Hold your head up girl and I wish you all the best in life.

  9. Hangout

    October 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Keep doing your thing girl. You’re as normal as anyone else.. I guess you know what sun screen is and i think it helps protect while you’re out in the sun… Have a wonderful life and I wish you all the best..

    • Yvonne

      October 14, 2010 at 11:49 pm

      Thank you…I do use sunscreen but even then, I wouldn’t brave unecessary exposure to the sun.

  10. Ujubaby

    October 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    This gurl is beautiful. By d ways, I fully believe dat d white race originated from the black race! It’s no news dat blacks give birth to white babies. D garden of Eden was in Africa I’m getting a lot of clues from dat fact!

    • ENC

      November 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm

      You should check out Dr. Frnaces Cress Welsing.. “Keys to the Colors” and the “Isis Papers”.. she says that black people hold the keys to all the colors. A black couple can have an albino child & the albino child marries a non-albino and they get lighter brown children.. the rainbow is possible, beginning with a black couple.

    • Ready

      November 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      I love Frances Cress Welsing. Having attended a HBCU, I have definitely come to appreciate the power inherent in Blackness.

  11. ogo

    October 8, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    So coooooool!!!! Loves it Yvonne.. i see u most days in ikoyi and i think u look fab!! take care..

  12. Benny

    October 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Nice write up, my favorite statement is “If nothing else, being an albino makes life interesting. With each new day, there’s a possibility I’d hear some very flattering comments, meet the most ignorant person or find out some myth about albinos I was previously unaware of.”

    I like that attitude, after all life ought to be interesting right? I think the way we Nigeria handle otherwise adverse situations is amazing, no matter what, we always see the bright side of things. Obvious you were/are surrounding by love and clad in the panoply of love, nothing bad can harm you…I applaud you for repeatedly mentioning the love and support you get…love indeed is all.

  13. Albino

    October 8, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I appreciate this post more than you can ever know. Thank you

  14. anonymous

    October 8, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Wow, Very proud of you for coming out and talking about it. You are a strong woman and teh LORD will continue to bless you. You have definetly opened my eyes and i am more grateful for all GOD has done for me. We sometimes forget how blessed we are and spend time complaining about trivial and unnecessary things. God bless u and ur fiance. The sky is just the begining for you

  15. Beey

    October 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Yvonne just answered every question I’ve ever had regarding being a normal person with a condition which is visible to everyone who looks at you. I’ve always thought of these questions -and more whenever I’ve seen her and have always always thought she must be a very strong person and now, I am even more impressed by her; her sister and her family as a unit. Nigeria is not an easy place to grow up as it is, so just reading this has pointed out so many factors we need to think of if we want to progress as a country. I love it and I love my people but ignorance is worse than a disease, it is a handicap to our development. On the brighter side, :O) (excuse the pun) Yvonne has just shown we are a big nation of fighters and thinkers, people who will protect and defend our families and loved ones and THAT is our number one strength. You are beautiful Yvonne, in a room full of (mostly beautiful) people in Lagos (packed as usual), how many girls can honestly say they look different- and in a good way?? Not many, I tell you. I’m not sure how to end this on a non-cheesy note but I hope you read this… and thanks for that, very enlightening.

  16. Chinedu A.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    So inspiring! well written too! Yvonne, I must compliment you on your excellent writing skills as well as your genuinely positive attitude, thank you for sharing 🙂

  17. Lara

    October 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    You are a very brave & beautiful young woman. Thank you for writing this, I found it very educating, bold & encouraging.

  18. Gbubs

    October 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Thumbs up Yvonne! We must become comfortable in our own “skin” and stop wishing to be someone else

  19. Yuds

    October 8, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    You are beautiful! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  20. Hali

    October 8, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I think you are a very beautiful woman with a beautiful heart.

  21. pumpi

    October 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Me I just love you…sha…Yv….

  22. Mrs. Obiora N

    October 8, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Yvonne, u r a fab. Lady, admired ur pics I saw in This Day Style. U are very comfortable in ur own skin & I love that totally. Love ur hair too. U r a beautiful woman inside(4rm ur article) & outside.
    Keep flying high girlfreind #feels like I know u#

  23. fokasibe

    October 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Hmmnnn…Long thing! It is well with you. I can’t even begin to imagine what you have been through….but the truth is: You are blessed cos you are so beautiful!!! Even more than a lot of us non albinos: I thank God for you! Secondly: Please avoid East Africa by any means necessary cos those peeps are on a long thing! God bless you dear.

  24. Honey

    October 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    You are very beautiful. The write up is superb.

  25. Mrs.RagaBlueberrymuffin

    October 8, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Awww…we went to high scholl together

  26. Meghan

    October 8, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Yvonne, you badass! Thank you for telling it exactly like it is. I couldn’t wish for a better article – thank you!

  27. samson

    October 8, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Nne! u re my african queen. thanks for sharing

  28. Bisi

    October 9, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Absolutely beautiful and touching. Bella thank you for having such inspiration on your website.

  29. V

    October 9, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Nice one.
    I am so happy with these series it is a real eye opener

  30. Ashabs

    October 9, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Ok i have seen Yvonne randomly at least 3 times and have wondered to myself…damn, this chic has style and smooth complexion…never even had any crazy thoughts about her nor did i think she was weird.

  31. Mrs.RagaBlueberrymuffin

    October 9, 2010 at 1:53 am

    gosh!!I rem that rumor in QC that they used special cream to take care of Yvonne and her sister. How naive were we :-(. I really loved your write up and i am glad your experience has made you astronger person!

  32. D.O.T.M.H.

    October 9, 2010 at 3:21 am

    God bless you.

  33. Bum_la

    October 9, 2010 at 4:19 am

    What can I say…that has not been said already! :). It is such a blessing to read your story. Embracing who you are is one of the most powerful attributes to have, and you obviously know that. I believe your story will not only empower other Albinos but it will free non-Albinos who are trapped by their myopic misconceptions. Keep working what you got Girlfriend! 🙂

  34. monica Braithwaite

    October 9, 2010 at 6:53 am

    You are blessed,beautifully written,I know for sure that no matter what people say,You pass thru foreign immigration posts more easily than any of us.I see an intelligent light skin lady.Simple!

  35. DUDU

    October 9, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Believe it or not i shed a tear after reading your piece. Guilty as charged when it comes to staring hard as albinos. I WILL NEVER EVER DO THAT AGAIN, EVER!!! Thanks so much for this sensitisation. I particularly love the positive side highlights. Thank God for loving family and friends

  36. Numommy

    October 9, 2010 at 7:30 am

    This was very informational. Never really thougt much about Albinos before.Went to school with a couple but it never really struck me that they where different…apart from the fact that they where light skinned and squinted alot. A friend of mine recently had an albino baby , so now its more real to me. Thanks for sharing your story , what an insight.

    • kokoletnumberone

      October 9, 2010 at 10:58 pm

      u mean ‘informative’ 😉

  37. Lady B

    October 9, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Nice write-up Yvonne. I can feel your pain (kind of) cos am what many call a fortunate albino as I do not the pale skin, but I sure can turn red when I stay in the sun too long so just like you I avoid the sun as much as I can during summer time and trips to Nigeria. My sight is bad , am suffering from astigmatism, perpetual eye fatigue and am also sensitive to light, I tend to sit in dark rooms most times and I never leave home without my sun glasses. It’s not easy but I think cos I now live in the western world, I may have had things better, like going shopping in the afternoon:) Something I try to avoid as much as I could backin Nigeria. Kudos to you and your family and keep your head up girl……xoxo

  38. Gino

    October 9, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I really feel bad for this guys but lets thank God for he doesn’t make mistake.

    http://getnigeriajobs.blogspot.com/

    • Mary007

      October 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm

      I am sure you are are on the wrong page! Back to the article I have seen you once close up and I ENVIED you, yes I did then cos you ozzed CONFIDENCE and self love and that was about six years ago! At that time I lacked both. Glad I have them now, you did inspire me that day cos I said look at her she sees beyoud her condition and here I am self loathing and thanks for sharing this.

    • Whatever

      May 2, 2012 at 7:44 am

      AHAHAHAHAHAHA! The funny thing is you actually believe that crap!

  39. Nimz

    October 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Anyone who knows you knows you are lovely inside out and very easy to get along with. Its great that you have been able to educate those who have no clue. Nicely written! Stay blessed Oyinbo :).

  40. Jey

    October 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Great series BN! Very good information for folks to get.

  41. Jlo

    October 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Yv, I’m so proud of u and won’t swap u with anything in this world.

  42. Nonye

    October 9, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    my brother HS is very lucky!!!!!!!!!

  43. Sugabelly

    October 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    This was a really nice post. I think that perhaps the cream issue might be some confusion Nigerians are having about sunblock. Most Nigerians don’t use sunblock and if you include the vast masses of the country, most have probably never even heard of sunblock.

    I’m guessing that albinos who use sunblock to protect their skin might have drawn curiosity from people around them thinking that it was a “special” cream.

  44. chi

    October 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Yvonne, have you considered writing? this is an amazing piece! Kudos to you! Again, you look amazing!

  45. Jibola

    October 9, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    There are several other advantages to being an albino, Yvonne. You’ve probably noticed that you don’t form ugly scars (keloids) that’s one problem common in blacks that albinos are spared of.
    Of course you never have to buy blonde weave on either!!! LOL
    It’s sad that there are still misconceptions about albinism. i heard a sad story about o little boy who had his leg chopped off by robbers because people believe alobinoes bones have powerful fettish properties!!!

    • kokoletnumberone

      October 9, 2010 at 11:02 pm

      ‘in blacks’? what does that mean? so she’s not black becos she’s albino? is albino a race?

      Yvonne, dont mind Jibola…God has really blessed you n will continue to do so….Luv the closing quote 😉

    • Michelle

      October 9, 2010 at 11:25 pm

      Seges! Damn, robbers chop off little boy’s leg?

  46. niyoo

    October 9, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I’ve seen u before …. and my 1st thot was ”damn, she’s got lovely skin”. Was trying to figure out if u were white, white albino ….. naija albino didn’t even cross my mind …..
    While walking past me, u said ”yep, I’m an albino”.

    U rock 🙂

  47. prettyinpink

    October 9, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    brilliant, informative, courageous, important article. Well done BN for shining the light on an issue that is not much discussed

  48. dr.cole

    October 9, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Hottie! Whaa. I’ve seen her around a few times and she’s hotness! Fantastically written piece too-i was riveted from start to finish. God bless you, you’re a star Yvonne.

  49. youngmoney

    October 10, 2010 at 12:52 am

    thank you for educating me on albinism

  50. naijamodel

    October 10, 2010 at 3:31 am

    Really nicely written! Thanks for educating us!

  51. chiamaka iwunze

    October 10, 2010 at 9:47 am

    babe u too fine..

  52. Ib

    October 10, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Now this is a girl who knows who she is and what she is about…POW!!U rock girl
    Im wishing all my albino sweethearts strength to come to a place of self love and even much more

  53. Yetunde

    October 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    OK. It is good that you are encouraging others however let me correct a scientific fact that you misstated if an albino marries another albino there is almost a 100% chance that they will give birth to an albino. If an albino person marries a non albino the chances of having an albino is at its maximum 25%. Chances depends on how common the recessive allele encoding this gene is in the general population, MD. MS.

    • Glory Edozien

      October 11, 2010 at 10:34 am

      Hi Yetunde, Thanks for your comment and observation. Please note that she says that if a ‘light person’ marries another ‘light person’ person. No where in this article does she suggest that the union of two albinos will not lead to the birth of another albino.

    • Naija QC girl

      October 12, 2010 at 12:21 am

      But she never talked about albino marrying albino…..She talked about “light person” marrying “light person”….and yes this is a common misconception that albinos are born when two light-skinned people marry…..MD, MPH

    • OlaY

      October 12, 2010 at 5:47 am

      hehehe….ok na, me sef i get degree o. AB, CD!

      Way to go Yvv

  54. olawunmi

    October 10, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    you are beautiful, strong and confident… you are a babe… God bless #thatisall

  55. Ginika

    October 11, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Thanks for giving us more info… thank God I have not been that ignorant about albino’s with regards to the myths but it is sad there are people out there that think that way… I have always believed if an albino takes good care of themselves they would look even better than darker skinned people.

  56. G

    October 11, 2010 at 8:56 am

    You are a beautiful girl..i have learnt a lot from your inspiring story. Stay blessed

  57. Vanessa U

    October 11, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Bless Her. I love this.

  58. dankeo

    October 11, 2010 at 9:55 am

    wow, u have alot of courage and a very lovely skin. Thank God for people like you who are not defined by what people say or think. u r ur own person… much love!!!

  59. obianuju she's luv

    October 11, 2010 at 10:08 am

    first off, yours is a touching story. i admire ur courage and strength, u’ve lived all ur life with these challenges and still emerged strong. and i must add, ur a stunner and ur skin clolour is bam! pls continue to take care of ur self
    PS: i typed this comment all teary…….lol

  60. Ms. Jayee

    October 11, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Really touching. You are fearfully, beautifully and wonderfully created by God…always remember that!

  61. Adun

    October 11, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Yvonne, this is fantastic. Lovely write-up and positive outlook on life. Fab!

  62. 9jalover

    October 11, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    we all deal with challenges in our lives, and should take a cue from you, since you’ve managed to make something of yourself instead on focusing on the negatives, the way so many of us do. and you’re freaking hot…call me…lol

  63. Lainey Sho

    October 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Yvvvvvvvv!!!! I am standing and clapping!! Maybe even bowing sef??
    Very well written and the comments have been lovely. “Niyoo” made me laugh when he wrote that you walked past and said ‘Yup, I’m an albino”. That could easily have been you, Loret or even the rest of us yelling it! loll
    There are many advantages of you being an albino (feels strange saying that cuz I so dont see that..not sure I ever did but then again, we’re sisters). For starters, going thru Murtala Mohmammed airport with you is pure BLISS!!! Its like travelling with MJ in his prime!!! Those customs peeps LOVE Yvonne! Damn!! If I was the type to carry Garri, fish, meat,etc in my suitcase, no one in that airport will stop me if I was travelling with Ms Yvonne. They spend all the time admiring her, they forget to open one’s suitcase. Now that you’ve moved back home, I am thoroughly searched when travelling out of Lagos alone! Thanks for abandoning me!!!

  64. Bruv!

    October 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Had a crush on you as long as I can remember, not everybody shares the same perception as some ignorant peeps, is that tall dude ur boyfriend?

  65. Libran Eye

    October 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    This just made me reflect on life as a whole……… I think you should write a book on this to educate more ignorant ppl like me. You have won my heart for being so brave to do this.

  66. WaleAdeniji

    October 11, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Wow!!! What an inspiring piece. I am incredibly proud of you Yvonne. You’re such a very special person and i admire your strong will and courage. May God bless those wonderful families and friends that surrounds you. Many are not as lucky as you are to have these people around them. Your story will no doubt enlighten millions of people about being an albino. It will eraze all those age long myth about being an albino. Wish you all the very best in life. You have said it all, God will never belabour you with more than you can handle. He is your strenght.

  67. Statuesque chic

    October 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for this Yvonne! Beautifully written. It is sad that Nigerians are so unbelievably ignorant about anything they think is not ‘normal’. Everyone can learn from this x

  68. Kelechi

    October 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Nice.

  69. efed

    October 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    U r truly special no matter the condition.Believe that!!!

  70. Kola S

    October 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Proud! 🙂
    Errr… now that you’re famous, can I get an autograph the next time you’re in town.

  71. Temi

    October 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Yvonne, i read your other article and i must admit to learning a few things i did not know before but true confessions i know you and your lovely sisters and i must admit that i have always thought of you all as a group of super sassy, hot sisters.. i am closest to only one of your sisters and yes i must admit that i thought you snubbed me and i never understood it cause i have known you from afar from QC days, to Reading UNI days and definitely met many times socially in Naija. This has revealed a lot and i thank you for sharing and allowing us to shed some of our ignorance.. Sister i applaud you

  72. elboogie

    October 11, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    ma wod n i always n still admire from mags n tv i never knew she is albino thut she was of mixed race n fine too

  73. omo jeje

    October 11, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Very enlightening article! I’ve ALWAYS understood that people with albinism were just that………..regular people with albinism. I gained more understanding about how 2 dark-skinned people could have a child with albinism when i learned about autosomal and recessive genes back in form 1 or 2. But i’m really glad i read this article cos i was one of those seniors in QC who thought you and your sister were downright snobs cos of the way you looked at people (what can i say….i was petty and afterall i was 15 or 16).

    I’m a physician now but it’s amazing how oblivious i’ve been uptil now of how serious the sight issues can be. Thanks a million for writing this article.

  74. Jade

    October 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    An absolutely beautiful editorial about being born beautiful. May God continue to bless and keep you!!! More power @ u as well!!!

  75. Yole

    October 11, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Fantastic piece that shows superficial beauty is skin deep – true beauty can only come from within. Love it!!!

  76. Naija QC girl

    October 12, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Nice writing, Yvonne!
    Never knew you had that in you…

    And I never, EVER, knew you had such trouble with your sight!!!

    You have a beautiful attitude, but you always have…..even in QC…

  77. OlaY

    October 12, 2010 at 5:46 am

    QC this, QC that na una biko o!lol

    • Naija QC girl

      October 12, 2010 at 7:33 am

      LOL, whatever!

  78. Fred Nwonwu

    October 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you Yvonne. Your article made serious sense to me. I got to learn too. I wish you all the best. Thank you for finding the strength to do this

  79. danna

    October 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    very beautiful and insightful write up. Love the last quote.

  80. Sash

    October 12, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    YV! I am extremely proud of you! You write so well! I admire and have always admired your patience, you’ve faced ignorance from such a young age.
    Yvonne has never ever looked for pity parties and never will (both her and her sister!) She is just merely shedding light on the ignorance that goes on in our society. Ignorance has never ever been bliss, it is a huge disease! Rock on child.

  81. F.Cengiz

    October 12, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Yvonne, I’m sooo sooo proud of you! way to go girl.:-))

  82. Enny

    October 12, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Oh my God!!!!!!!! This is so inspiring,bravoooooooooooooooooooo Yvonne.Beautiful write up.

  83. Chinedu

    October 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Looking at the big picture, every body is unique in their own way. And with a little support it’s upto us as individuals to aspire and work toward being the best that we can.

    Like you said education is the key, some of my best friends (e.g music producer Cobhams who was my class mate in secodary school) have some form of physical challenge or the order but I hold them to a much higher esteem than some of my friends who think the world of themselves but actually have nothing to look upto.

    You are an inspiration to our generation and I see you touching more lives in the future than you have ever imagined, if for nothing, at least because you understand.

    Keep the fire burning girl…….XOXOXO

  84. Ogo A.

    October 13, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Yvonne dear, i luv ur write-up to bits..gud job. From the first day I saw you, fell for ur dress-sense, ur ability to match colors, ur carriage n elegance. You are a complete ‘package’-God has blessed with you so much dt they more than complement ur eye-sight…definitely unique

  85. vanessa

    October 14, 2010 at 4:22 am

    hi Yvonne, am surprised to hear of some of ur experiences in secondary schl, i guess most were done in ignorance… really interesting piece here, u made me smile loads… and special cream and injection ke? na wa o, good 2knw u r flying high and u didnt let ple scar u for life. smiled also at protective big sis. lol… cheers!

  86. Jimi Ogbobine

    October 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I’m afraid, but i also think i was born differently. This difference could be that i’m shocked to find out people even discriminate against albinos in the first place. I’v never seen them differently and feel ashamed to find out that humanity could still be immersed in such ignorance at this time and age. Why would anybody discriminate on account of skin colour? Sounds like some kinda stone age folks, aigh’t.

  87. Yvonne

    October 14, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    When I was asked if I was willing to take part in the Skin Deep Series, I thought ‘why not’. After I read the first two articles and the comments made, my reasons for wanting to do this went alot further than ‘just because’. Even then though I could never have imagined the level of response I got. Thank you all for taking the time to read my story and for your very flattering comments. I’m especially glad I’ve been able to help people see things differently. Thanks to Bella Naija for giving me the opportunity to do this. Truth be told, i’ve learnt that I took alot for granted as well and a simple explanation here and there might have gone a long way. As a few people said, ignorance isn’t bliss and one person’s ignorance causes another person pain. We really are quite normal, we just lack pigment 🙂

  88. AY

    October 16, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Thank you for sharing this with us… I enjoyed reading it very much and wish you the best! I do not remember ever overtly staring or pointing at an albino, yet I am very glad have better understanding about daily life. Stay blessed!

  89. dre1

    October 19, 2010 at 4:50 am

    thank you very much for this!!!!! i wont lie i have been one of those ignorant ones who has said stuff about albinos…thank God for your life……you are truly blessed..

  90. Purpleiciousbabe

    October 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    great inspiring story and u look awesome. One of my friends at Uni in UK is albino and she is nigerian. Anyways she came to our flat to chill @ some point during uni, my asian flat mate saw her and thought she was white… referring to her as white nigerian, saying ‘I have never seen a white nigerian before’ lool… it was hilarious.. cos she isnt white.. but she looks great, takes care of her skin and body..

  91. livelybrowsers

    October 19, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Thanks for good stuff

  92. shadow eagle

    October 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    great article very informative. too bad you’re in africa, i’d love to meet you. a great life and great journeys to you. you are beautful.
    ~Marty~

  93. Ayo Ajayi

    October 27, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Yvonne, you’re such an inspiration, not only to those with this condition but also to everybody. I’m certainly inspired by your article and i’m sure that the sky is definitely your limit. You go girl, you certainly rock……

  94. Teeeee

    October 29, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Damn,u went 2 QC,l can imagine [email protected] u went thru dere,l suffer 4rm a rare skin disease called alopecia areata,it affects mainly ur hair,u get bald patches,m sure a few ppl wld figure out who l am cos m prob d only persn [email protected] went 2 Qc [email protected] has [email protected] problem,it takes a lot 2 b comfortable wid dis kinda tin but m grateful 4 weavons nd wigs….I’d like 2 meet u sme day nd chat,v seen u a couple of times….kip bin strong girl cos l knw 4 me,l still try 2 hide mine,goin 2 salons as early as 7am so ld b d only 1 dere,or making d persn cme 2 my house 2 make my hair…l can go on nd on but I’d stop here…..

  95. lorine

    November 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I am in love with this article, i think you work ur skintone very well.

  96. lekan fayz

    November 5, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Wow, i have not read an article written straight out of the heart like this in a very long while. You are beautifully and wonderfully formed, and you deserve to know that.

  97. misslee

    November 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Yvonne ,your story is trully inspirational, we have definitely learnt alot and thanks to you there’s been serious mentality change in our perception of albinism.I am hoping that all albinos out there will know that they didnt do anything wrong and should be happy with themselves just they way they are. Wish you all the best.Peace

  98. ACJM

    December 20, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Dear Yvonne, you’re beautiful the way you are and I thank you for sharing this article. Very inspiring. God bless and Merry Xmas.

  99. Amy

    January 3, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Dear Yvonne!
    Thank you for this very interesting & enlightening piece!
    You truly are one beautiful chic!!!
    This article caught my attention, not because of the topic, but simply because I just had to get a better look at the attractive author.
    You nailed it when u said “You look in the mirror everyday and you see the same thing, sooner or later you stop seeing it. I stopped seeing my skin colour a long time ago and I know the same is true for my family and close friends.” Three of my sibs are ‘light-skinned’ but I honestly can’t remember ever seeing them that way. As far as I and the rest of my sibs are concerned, they are no different from any of us.
    I have come to understand that life is basically a ‘give-&-take’ affair. People are inclined to see us the way we see ourselves. Besides, after all said and done, is there really anyone who’s got it all?

  100. Chika

    April 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Beautiful write up, dear. You have really taught me certain things that I never knew. Thanks for the clarification…you need to be a writer you know, and you can start with your own lil ol’ 🙂 blog…Deuces.

  101. Mandy

    July 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Yvonne, you are just too gorgeous and than you for this info. I’m a mother of a 7 year old suffering from Albinism and I have to answer lots of question. It was so easy for me right now to log on and show her your picture and told her that if she carry’s on listening to me and wearing her hat,, glasses and sunscreen she’ll remain as beautiful as she is now. She took one look at your pic and said that she wants to be like you LOL. Your story is very touching and have always hoped to find something like this that I can share with her. Thank you for both of us.

    • Yvonne

      July 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks Mandy, i’m glad my story helped. You know, i’ve never thought of it as ‘suffering’ from albinism, least not for as long as i remember…i refer to myself as an albino, the same way i refer to myself as being a girl. I’m sure you only used it in the descriptive sense but alot of people do see it as something to ‘suffer’ from and i disagree :-). I’m sure your daughter will grow up into a beautiful lady and i’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

  102. ekenem uraih

    May 14, 2012 at 3:52 am

    A lovely article from a beautiful lady

  103. VIANO

    April 2, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Great piece. And she has a lovely skin as well. There are a lot of ignorant people out there and such post are very important and educative.

  104. Pam

    July 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Well done sis, i’m extremely proud of you and happy that alot of people have been enlightened by this write up. lol @ lainey sho.

  105. Mike

    December 14, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Am an albino too… I even nickname maself ”afinmikel”
    wanna knw if ur on fb. Wish to chat with u

  106. Famat

    February 5, 2014 at 10:42 am

    You can’t compare Albino with the real Oyinbo

    • Blondie

      November 11, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      The point of the article is to educate people about albinism, making a comparison to “the real Oyinbo” or making a comment about that sort of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

  107. Natural Vitiligo Treatment

    February 2, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    There are some similarities between Albinism and Vitiligoat which may cause a layperson to confuse one with the other.

  108. ray

    September 11, 2015 at 2:00 am

    thank you Yvonne its good to know that there are like minded people out there ps y’re really pretty

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