There have been countless stories about the atrocities affecting the “White African”, or more specifically those who suffer from the condition albinism. The word “suffer” tells a story, as many of those same people live a life of fear, constant struggle, and premature death. What many would describe as witchcraft has been a long standing practice, and today’s recent increase of voodoo rituals have put the Albino population on full alert. Regarded as “magical” because of their condition, this group is grasping at every chance they can get to protect themselves and expose the horrific truth they face every day.
Music and Inspiration
The next generation of future leaders are often inspired by the current generation of music. From traditional African music to Bongo Flavo and, more recently, the group “White African Music”, this newest sub-genre is led by now famous and inspirational rappers who suffer from the skin disease, aiming to inform the general public of the medical condition, rebuke the magical properties of their body, and end the continued murder and disembodiment of their brethren.
Like many musicians, having a platform to speak your mind, influence the masses, and spread a message, African rappers are taking note of this top venue method and making headlines for their message and method of entertaining and informing the public about Albinism.
The duo that makes up “White African Music” are Rene and Clifford Bouma. Born and raised in Cameroon, these brothers know first hand the risks of living an albino life. Easily picked out from a crowd of predominately dark skinned natives, this duo has taken their voices to a new level, inspiring hundreds of fellow albinos, breaking the silence on the ongoing struggle of others afflicted by the disease, and educating the general public about the condition.
Clifford tells CNN about his childhood and the struggle he faced every day. “It was hard,” Clifford says. “We heard stories of albinos who have been killed and offered as sacrifices to the gods to cleanse the land from any form of calamity, so it was culturally and socially risky growing up as an albino.” Combined with being shunned from the local communities, Rene told of his transformation, taking all his rage and spite and turning to pen and paper, creating now what is known as “White African Music.”
Focused on telling the story of an average African man living in northern Cameroon who suffers from the condition, “White African Music” narrates their struggle with discrimination, solitude, and the ability to rise up above said challenges and make a difference.
Now an inspiration and symbol of hope to so many suffering from albinism, Clifford shares his musical progression, “In front of people now, when I am passing they don’t give me derogatory names like ‘mokala,’ ‘ngenggerou,” says Clifford. “They are like, ‘hey, that’s the guy who raps!'” “It makes me now believe in myself more,” he adds. “The music has impacted me. I tell people that whatever you are going through in life, even if you are albino, if you are somebody disabled for one fact or the other, different from others, you can still come out with something good, which is internal, like talents, and then you prove [yourself] to people. They will look at you as somebody big.”
As the duo continues to bring awareness to both their country and the world regarding the ongoing challenges, fears, and struggles people with albinism face, the music industry is also seeing a transformation, giving these brothers the support and platform they need to continue to inspire the next generation.