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Thando Hopa Makes History as the First Woman with Albinism on a Vogue Cover

The South African model, lawyer and activist graced the cover of Vogue Portugal.

Vogue magazine dubbed its April issue "Africa Motherland". It is supposed to be an ode of sorts to the African continent which is often termed the "cradle of humanity" and regarded as the place from which all human beings originated. What better way to honor the continent than to make history by having South African model, lawyer and activist, Thando Hopa, on the cover of the Portuguese edition? Hopa is the first woman living with albinism to ever grace the cover of the magazine.


People living with albinism still face tremendous stigmatization, persecution and even murder in many African countries including South Africa. What is a condition that is literally nothing more than a lack of pigmentation, has for the longest time been shrouded in dangerous superstition which often places those living with albinism in harm's way.

Speaking about her Vogue cover feature, Hopa wrote on Instagram:

"I once said to a close friend that it would really be lovely to see a woman with albinism on a Vogue Cover, I would not have imagined that that woman would be me. "We are the ones we have been waiting for." I'm emotional, because I see progress and get to form part of a progressive story and narrative."

Representation matters. It's an important way to put an end to the "othering" of people living with albinism. What Vogue has done is not just historical but progressive and given the magnitude of the publication, has played a major role in highlighting how people living with albinism are exactly that―people.

Since Vogue Portugal's April issue has two covers, the stunning British-Sudanese model, Alek Wek, graces the second cover.

READ: Lazarus Is the Malawi Street Musician Fighting Against the Persecution of People With Albinism

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Global Citizen x OkayAfrica: The Impact of Conflict on Children

An estimated 1.4 million children have been hit by schools closing in the Tigray region of Ethiopia amid conflict and crisis. Here's how that's impacting Ethiopia's children.

In times of conflict and war, school-aged children could have their futures defined by whether or not they can access education amid ongoing violence.

Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray is in the midst of a war that has impacted millions of lives and affected neighboring regions, Amhara and Afar. The war — which has forced citizens to flee, has tipped the region into famine, and has barricaded humanitarian aid from reaching the most vulnerable — has now been going on for about 11 months.

As the beginning of the school season draws nearer, safely reopening schools, making education accessible, and protecting children from the impacts of violence in the affected regions is a priority for aid agencies.

"As schools prepare to reopen in early October in most parts of the country, in Tigray and the bordering regions of Afar and Amhara, where the conflict has expanded, education remains at a standstill," Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, told Global Citizen.

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How Beauty Boy, Enioluwa Adeoluwa, Is Shattering the Expectations of Masculinity In Nigeria

Affectionately known as Lipgloss Boy, Enioluwa has become one of the most popular influencers in Nigeria — and he's done so without conforming to the notions of masculinity or imposed limitations on what a man should be able to do.