Meet The Albino Models Fighting Prejudice In South Africa

15 January 2013 by

Thando Hopa photographed by Hannes Danzfuss

Growing up in the township of Soweto in South Africa, Refilwe Modiselle, 27, knew she was different. 'I live in the skin of a white person,' South Africa's first albino model told Grazia in an interview published this week.

In many African countries people with albinism are believed to have mystical healing powers and have become vitims of 'muti' or medicine killings. Between 2006 and 2012 71 people are beleived to have been kidnapped, mutilated or murdered for their organs in Tanzania alone. 'I never thought I'd be a model' says Refilwe, who was recently signed as the face of South African label LEGiT, and has walked the catwalk at South African fashion week.

Other models helping to break down the boundaries around albinism are American model, Diandra Forrest who is signed by Elite and South African, Thando Hopa, 23 an albino model and lawyer who grew up in Johannesburg. 'It was only when one of SA's foremost designers asked me to consider modelling for him that I decided to give it a try,' Thando says, 'and it has changed my outlook. I now realise that I have a platform to inspire young girls, and as someone who never had a role model who looked like me when I was growing up, I now hope to be able to show that albinism can be beautiful and is just another kind of normal.'

Read the full article in this week's Grazia and watch the video below for more.



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Blair Villanueva (Wed Jan 16 12:11:46 GMT 2013): she's beautiful, with those magnificent, expressive eyes..
Runiar Nniar Mug (Wed Jan 16 14:23:12 GMT 2013): I love these ladies they proved that being albino is just a colour just like black and white,,,,i envy..keep up Refilwe ..
Bruno Kamunda Kay (Wed Jan 16 16:30:04 GMT 2013): Ooooh shz gt a heart 2!
Natural Black Hair (Thu Jan 17 09:59:45 GMT 2013): Thando Hopa and Refilwe Modiselle two models and ambassadors for albinos around the the world.
Karen Ross Thomas (Tue Mar 19 01:44:55 GMT 2013): beautiful
J Goodman Eke (Sat Apr 20 17:51:20 BST 2013): Albinism is not an impediment........