My vitiligo it’s segmental, it’s only on my right leg. I got my first patch on my knee when I was 8, I went to dermatologists, general practitioner in Lenasia and traditional healers. During my last grade in school it got to a point where I was going for a phototherapy sessions in Lenasia and I started having conversation with myself, if I had a problem with my looks.
The answer was no, it was always the people around me who love and care about me, would suggest and refer me to doctors and all. There was once an old lady who said it was “umlilo wabaphansi” (an ancestral fire).
I actually thought it didn’t really matter because it takes nothing from me, so I decided I would stop going for all these treatments. In a poetic perspective, I love the comparison of it to a fire and I see it as a fire burning inside me to explore my potential. I walk the streets with confidence and sometimes I like the attention I get from it because it creates more awareness.
Story by Nandi Mabece