A 17 years old boy in Malawi, Davis Fletcher Machinjiri, went out to watch a soccer game like any teenager would do on a beautiful spring day.
What happened next is the stuff of horror movies – he was abducted to Mozambique, killed and dismembered, all because Davis was an albino.
Talismans Made From Albino Bones Are Said To Bring Luck And Riches
According to local police investigating the death of the teenager, “the men chopped off both his arms and legs and removed bones. They then buried the rest of his body in a shallow grave.”
The practice of killing albinos for body parts is widespread in many African nations, with countries like Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia or Mozambique being the most affected.
This abhorrent practice is deeply rooted in superstition. Many Africans believe that potions and talismans made from an albino’s bones or internal organs can bring luck and wealth.
Such beliefs are reinforced by ruthless witchdoctors who claim their wares made with albino body parts have miraculous powers.
They are willing to pay a fortune for a dead albino and sell their products at outrageous prices.
According to Amnesty International, at least 151 people with albinism have been killed in east Africa since 2014.
The latest recorded case is that of a Zambian carpenter, Emmanuel Phiri, 43, father of three, who was murdered on March 25, 2020.
The youngest known victim of this violent practice was a one-year-old boy killed in Tanzania in 2015.
What Is Albinism
Albinism is a condition caused by a genetic mutation that decreases the production of a pigment called melatonin. People born with this condition have white skin and hair, and reddish eyes.
Besides social stigma, people suffering from albinism struggle with many health problems, including loss of vision, extreme sensitivity to the sunlight, which, in turn, makes them very vulnerable to skin cancer.