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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Ambassador for Malawi's albinos
Geoffrey Zigoma playing a guitar
Geoffrey Zigoma is currently working on his fourth album

Albinos face discrimination in many African countries. Musician Geoffrey Zigoma, 29, told the BBC's Aubrey Sumbuleta how he is an ambassador for all Malawians with albinism.

Albinos are like any other human beings.

However, I caution other albinos against relying on other people.

We must work hard and not expect any favours.

I started playing music in a church choir and after realising my potential I decided to get into music seriously. My efforts paid off.

Star

My first album Ndatherapano which means "I have ended here", turned me into a star in my country.

Currently, I am working on my fourth album which is going to be out next month. In this forthcoming album, I sing about the violence against women which is so rampant here in Malawi.

I wake up early and take a cup of tea to enhance my energy before going to the studio where I normally practice my music with a friend's band, the Armageddon.

Although I am an albino, my wife is black and so is my son.

Ambassador

I have a very happy and supportive family, especially my wife who has always done a lot to encourage me.

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I am an ambassador for all albinos in Malawi and I sing about this.

It is as though I am the king for Malawi's albinos because I speak out for them. I am outspoken over the discrimination we face.

People call me "mzungu" [white man] but I am not bitter about that. I think I inspire a lot of people like me here in Malawi and this in turn makes some of them work and try even harder.

An albino can do anything. I wish you could see how talented I am when playing a keyboard.

I challenge that even a normal man cannot easily compete with me in playing a keyboard.

Inspiration

I am inspired by a fellow albino musician, the Golden Voice of Africa, Malian Salif Keita.

I am making efforts to get his contacts and meet him.

Geoffrey Zigoma and his family
Albinos contend with stigma as many African societies see them as bearers of bad luck

I think we can share experiences and help each other in campaigning for albinos' rights worldwide. Kaita is such a great musician and I would like to be the same and one day own my own studio.

I don't have a car yet so I normally walk to most of my destinations or jump on a bus if where I am going is far.

Right now I am going to a radio station to give them a CD of my forthcoming album.

After a hard working day, I normally relax with my best friend Dan at our favourite drinking joint with a bottle of beer.

Or if I am not drinking, I like playing or watching football and basketball.





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