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“When I was 14, I was kneeling in front of my locker and someone leaned down, put a mirror in my face and screamed in my ear,” says Farrington, a Fort Worth native.“People have certainly said crueler things, but being confronted with your own image as something horrible is something I’ve never quite gotten over.” Dating, too, was an issue.“‘We just want dark-skinned models.’ They told me I‘m wasting their time and my time so I should just pack my things and go.” Nyawira said rejection began with her first breath.When her father saw his wife had given birth to an ostensibly white baby, he kicked them out, imagining his daughter was the product of an affair with a “mzungu” – a white foreigner.“Even when I was dating, it was difficult for girls to say I‘m handsome,” said Isaac Mwaura, Kenya’s first parliamentarian with albinism and founder of the Albinism Society of Kenya, which organized the pageant.“I knew I was handsome (but) people with albinism are seen as not beautiful, as not good-looking, and that has an effect on their self esteem,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.As a high school freshman, she won a role in the fall play “and was hooked,” she says.

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Married with a five-month-old son, Ngatia has achieved something that eludes many Kenyans – he has a permanent job, working for Kenya’s Water Resource Management Authority. I can even teach people how to catwalk.” Ngatia said his successes in life had a lot to do with attitude. Sometimes I even forget I‘m a person with albinism, unless a person starts reacting differently.“I feel if I have the crown people will listen to me,” she said before the final judging.“If I have the crown, I can go to my governor and tell him, ‘I‘m Miss Albinism Kenya,’ and ask him questions: ‘What are you doing for people with albinism in this county? “I’ll just concentrate on high fashion from now,” she said, her face stained with tears and glitter.NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - With its evening gowns, celebrity judges and tears of joy, the beauty pageant in Kenya’s capital was like others elsewhere, except for one thing - all 20 contestants who strutted, sashayed and swaggered down the catwalk had albinism.In the world’s first contest of its kind, 10 men and 10 women competed in the Mr and Miss Albinism Kenya pageant this month in Nairobi. The competition, which drew a crowd of about 1,000 including Deputy President William Ruto, was designed to celebrate people with albinism - who lack pigment in their skin, hair and eyes - and challenge stigma and persecution.