Myself Chukwuemeka Chibo, from Abia State, my story like every one of my brother and sister living with the condition is still that of stigmatization especially in public work place, my picture as a small child (first from the right) shows that I was not born with it, until when I was in primary5.
I was never bothered about it until my senior secondary school, when I was teased by my female classmate, ever since I have been living with that low esteem conscious awareness that I have vitiligo. I would always use my hands pretending to be biting my nails just to cover it, I would also tilt my neck just to cover it. I became very shy in the public; I couldn't face a large crowd. My parents and close friends would always encourage me not to be worried about it. It’s part of the reason why I don't take pictures or public photos. As much as I try to take my mind off it, I would always encounter someone who will remind me that something was wrong with me from the way they would stare at me strangely.
Truly it’s difficult living with it especially when it’s visible area of the body. It has also discouraged me from competing for jobs especially in the military or paramilitary. A so called prominent elite (my employer), asked the general manager of his hotel to sack me because his fear was that my face would scare or drive away guests and customers from his hotel. This just but a few experiences I have encountered.
Honestly it is a real challenged because I now have a low esteem, I can’t face the crowd, I am very shy to look people in the eyes, I have this constant fear that I would always be rejected whenever I go for job interviews etc. I have tried to accept it realistically because I found out that the more I try to hide it the more it shows. It would take more and more awareness campaign to inform the public that vitiligo is not a life threatening disease.
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