By: Evans Simutami
I am Evans Simutami, born on 25th of November 1996. I am the second born in a family of two boys and two girls, three children are black and I am the only albino child and have limited vision. My elder brother James Simutami was involved in a road accident and lost his right eye at the age of 20, today he has an artificial eye. My two sisters are physically and mentally okay and are very active.
When I was 8 years old and I was supposed to start school but my mother and father didn’t know where to take me. At this time, I came to learn that when I was four years old, my mother left me home and she went to the river to wash clothes for the family. An unknown person come and picked me and took to her home and kept me for one week. It was a terrible situation. Today when my mother is narrating what happened, “Her tears flow like water”.
According to my mother’s explanation, on what she got from the court, the lady said that, “Her intention was to kill me and sell my body parts to a named business man in her area.” He planned to take me to a nearby country to sell to a witch doctor, where my body would be used to make charms and potions. When the woman was caught, she confessed and she was jailed for 9 years, from 2000 to 2010.
My mother from then on, lived in fear and never wanted me to go out and play with friends. She only wanted me safely at home but at the same time she wanted me to be educated.
My father was very passive and he never contributed to my well-being. His solution was to blame my mother and there were times when my father could reach an extent of beating her, “Not simple beating but real beating”. Where was the anger coming from? His anger was from the comments from our community. The community had a very big problem, for it was their first time to see an albino child and they did not understand my condition and considered me to be a ghost. If someone became sick or died in the village, the community will come to my parents and accuse them of causing that sickness or death. My father would then transfer his anger to my mother, because the uncle to my mother was albino. The beatings made my mother leave my father and she started living alone.
My three black siblings remained with my father and I was the only one staying with my mother. My mother is good at knitting articles and craft work. My mother shifted from the northern area to the central area of our district. It is in this area that God blessed her by meeting Mr. Emmanuel Simoto who was working in the ministry of education as a general worker. He knew about St Odilia Special School because he had a cousin who is blind and was learning at the same school. My mother and our relatives were more than happy. Mr. Emmanuel contacted the school administration and I was accepted and I started my grade one in 2008 and completed in 2019 at the same school.
My father was very surprised about my progress in school and is still shocked even today, because my elder brother and my intermediate sister didn’t complete school and they are still just home with my father. Our last born is trying but with a lot of challenges in her academic works. This June, she has started staying with my mother and I encourage her to finish her education. In 2021, I joined the college in Lusaka (capital city) called Zambia Institute of Special Education. I decided to take up a course in Early Childhood Education. I am enjoying the course and it has helped me to understand child development. This year, 2022 from April to June, I was at St Mary’s Special School for the Visually Impaired in Kawambwa, doing my teaching practice and school experience. I enjoyed my stay and was counseling my fellow albino and blind pupils who are facing rejection at any level of their lives, “I was the living testimony”. I invite you all to be part of us in adding a smile on our faces, in most cases the society fails to understand us, but be among the few who understand. Come and Let us Go.
Inverness County Cares (ICC) is a local charitable organization, founded in 2012 and based in Inverness County, NS, Canada. ICC works in partnership with Chalice.ca, a Canadian charity, based in Bedford, Nova Scotia. Chalice provides guidance and assistance to help us provide a better life for the children at the Kawambwa schools. The Kawambwa Project involves supporting two schools for albino and visually impaired students, in Northern Zambia. Inverness County Cares always welcomes new members. Individuals who wish to donate, can use the donate button on our website https://invernesscountycares.com When using E-transfer, please include your mailing address for CRA tax receipts and a thank you message. E-transfer address: firstname.lastname@example.org or send a cheque to Inverness County Cares, 5414 Route 19, Judique, NS, Canada, B0E1P0. Taxation receipts provided for USA and Canada.