Internationally recognised actress and model Refilwe Modiselle continues her quest to raise awareness about albinism.
Albinism is a genetic disorder which occurs due to a lack of melanin in the hair, skin and eyes.
People with albinism have a reduced amount of melanin or no melanin at all, making their skin sensitive to sunlight. The condition can also affect eyesight.
Taking to her Instagram page on Tuesday, the Joburg-born star shared a video of her recent interview with UK’s TalkTV’s Petrie Hosken in which she spoke about her journey as the first professional fashion model with albinism.
“I’ve become far more than Africa’s first successful model with albinism through my journey… one is doing some incredible things 🔥🔥🔥…. There’s a lot of growth & accomplishments that came from how it all began,’’ she said.
“I love that I can share my journey & educate worldwide baby, not when people feel they want to call me only for a specific day…. But they can actually see the value in what I can impart anytime 24/7/365,” added Modiselle.
“I’m Africa’s first successful model with albinism, meaning I’m the first model in the continent to have successfully worked well within the modelling industry,” explained Modiselle.
“I started at the age of 13 when I was scouted in high school to do my first five-page editorial for a youth culture magazine.
“At age 13, I had no concept of what that meant for me, because back then there was no representation whatsoever of a person with albinism in mainstream media.”
Modiselle further explained that her mother was reluctant at first to have her teenage daughter go into the cut-throat modelling industry.
“Little did we know that would be history being made, and as well as just my career growing into other spaces other than the modelling industry because I then became a TV and radio host.”
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As an activist, Modiselle also advocates for the rights of people living with albinism.
Modiselle recently ventured into acting, her debut being the lead in the international film “White Gold” in 2020.
The film shows the journey of Mansa, an African woman with albinism, who got her arm hacked as the result of myths and misconceptions surrounding albinism and witchcraft.
Written and directed by UK-based film-maker Luke Bradford, “White Gold” made its world debut at the Pan-African Film Festival, where the film scooped its first award for best short narrative.
In February 2020, Modiselle bagged the best actress actress award at The African Film Festival (TAFF) in Dallas, Texas.
The film also won best acting honours at the Global Impact Film Festival (GIFF) in Washington, DC.
The film premiered in South Africa at the RapidLion Film Festival 2020, which was held at the Market Theatre in March.