Unique look clinched the deal
Peter Kolokoto was approached and signed up by Sync Models for his unique look.
The 28-year-old, who says he hid his patches when they first appeared at the age of 21, was gobsmacked.
"My granny and mother have vitiligo, but when it hit me it hit me hard. I covered myself with long sleeves even in the heat. And here comes along people who actually think I can make money because of my two-toned skin. It really boosted my confidence," he says.
Born and raised in Alexandra township, Kolokoto says after his first shoot he finally understood why he developed vitiligo.
"My images were going to be used as part of an exhibition in a gallery. It gave me the vision to educate others and inspire others like me to reach for the stars. I was a confident person but became depressed after my skin started changing. Some people I know committed suicide because of it.
"Until today kids make fun of me, while some are scared of me. If it wasn't for my girlfriend, I don't know where I'd be. She encouraged me to accept myself and show off my 'flaws'. She told me she loves me regardless of how I look," says the model.
Driven by the beat to entertain
Singer and rapper Romeo says the likes of Salif Keita inspired him to become an entertainer.
Born Romeo Dzedzemane, in Venda, he says he knew since the age of nine that he was a musician.
Now 28, he has released several EPs and mix tapes sung in English and Venda, including his hit song, Energy. He recently featured on the SABC2 Afrikaans soapie, 7de Laan.
Born to "normal" parents, he says they never understood his condition and therefore he had to educate himself.
"They loved and supported me but couldn't answer some of my questions as to why I was different. And people in the street made sure I knew I was different by mocking me. But I learnt that it's only my hair, eyes and skin that was different. I was still an awesome human being."
Romeo says he has become involved in organisations that support the fight for those living with albinism.
Cute actor a born fighter
Lutendo Mugeri stole the hearts of hundreds when he played Hector in SABC2's 7de Laan.
The story-line focussed on children with albinism being kidnapped and killed for muti. Hector walked away a hero, like the little activist who took on the role.
Lutendo was spotted by Tassie foundation founder, Bruce Sithole, after delivering a speech at a Lenasia primary school.
Sithole then offered the nine-year- old an activist role and had him deliver a speech at the Union buildings to hand over a memorandum during a march last year.
"I was asked to give the memorandum asking the government to make it easier for children like me to have easier access to sunhats and sunblock. It's a basic human right," says Lutendo.
His mother, Sibongile, says both her son and daughter were born with albinism. "I was afraid because it never happened in my family before. I was bombarded with myths and scared someone would take my children away from me. But I had to learn what it was to raise them to the best of my ability.
"I tell them not to be afraid, not to be affected by bullies and that they can achieve whatever they set their minds on. A teacher once told my daughter she's a white witch ... I now prepare my children that people can be cruel but it shouldn't scare them," says Sibongile.
Lutendo has dreams of becoming a pastor, a doctor or a DJ when he's older.
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