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Vicky Ntetema wins bravery award for BBC albino report

Albino child (file photo)
Many albino people in Tanzania and Burundi are living in fear

Tanzanian journalist Vicky Ntetema has won an international award for her BBC reports on the murder of albinos.

The International Women's Media Foundation gave her a Courage in Journalism Award for her investigation.

"I am surprised but not happy," Ms Ntetema told the BBC, saying that a four-year-old boy with albinism had recently been killed.

Some Tanzanian witch doctors say magic potions made with albino body parts can bring good luck and wealth.

Some 53 people with albinism have been murdered in Tanzania in recent years, along with several others in neighbouring Burundi.

Vicky Ntetema
I am worried that it is a year of elections and the witch doctors say politicians use the potions to try to make sure they win
Vicky Ntetema

Ms Ntetema has twice had to flee Tanzania because of her reports into the powerful networks behind the killings and still needs 24-hour protection.

"I can't be happy when there have been seven attacks since 8 February after a lull since last October," she said.

"I am worried that it is a year of elections and the witch doctors say politicians use the potions to try to make sure they win."

She also said that people with albinism were the real heroes, especially those who have had limbs cut off or women whose husbands have abandoned them after giving birth to albino children.

"They are the really brave ones," said Ms Ntetema, 51, who now works for human rights group Under The Same Sun.

Many of Tanzania's estimated 17,000 albino people are now living in fear, especially in villages in the north-west where the majority of the murders have occurred.



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