Nigerian comic creates heroes with albinism to end ritual murders

A group of young Nigerians have invented an island where people with albinism live to escape being hunted down and having their limbs hacked off for use in witch doctors’ magic potions.

While the hideaway is fictional - it only exists in Peda Comics’ latest online series, due for release on Saturday - it is based on real-life murders of people with albinism across Africa, the creative team behind the comic said.

“It’s crazy, it’s outrageous and it doesn’t make any sense - it’s evil,” Peter Daniel, 22, executive producer of the comic and head of Peda Studio, a Nigerian multimedia company, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Lagos.  

“The story hasn’t been told before. We need to showcase this to the world, what is happening.”

Albinism is a genetic condition where a lack of the melanin pigment makes people’s hair and skin white, which can make them vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancers.  

The United Nations (U.N.) estimates 1 in 1,400 people are affected in Tanzania - one of the countries with the highest rates of mutilation and murder for their body parts, which are believed to possess magical powers.

In the first of the three-part series of “Under the Sun”, people with albinism take action after the president of the fictional African state of Zamia is assassinated in a coup.