Help quash the many myths about albinism and you could be a provincial or even a national winner

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Entries are invited for the 2007 National Schools Essay Competition on Albinism.

It is sponsored and organised by Sowetan, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the provincial education departments and the national Department of Health's genetics division.

It is aimed at quashing all imaginable myths and superstitions about albinism, which is a manageable genetic condition that causes a lack of pigment or melanin in the skin.

Both ocular albinism, which affects only the eyes, and oculocutaneous albinism, which affects the eyes and the skin, are inherited.

In 2006, the top three winners were Limpopo's Tshilisanani Nedombeloni, KwaZulu-Natal's Gugu Ntinga and Free State's Mpho Makole. The other finalists were KwaZulu-Natal's Khethiwe Mbuyazi, Mpumalanga's Charles Masango, Gauteng's Prudence Mahlangu, Limpopo's Monica Lekoloane, North West's Maneo Molaodi, Northern Cape's Onnelenna Taboleng and Eastern Cape's Dumelethu Vokwana.

Pupils in grades 10 to 12 at public schools are invited to write essays of not more than 1000 words on one of the following topics:

l Albinism: being different in my community;

l Albinism: experiences of a teenager with albinism;

l Albinism in relation to HIV-Aids;

l Albinism: how I relate to people with albinism; l or Albinism: a disability or not?