The unusual eyes of Africa

Vanessa Bristow photo Boy with Sapphire eyes

I came across this unusual picture of this little boy from Africa with the most amazing eyes. When  I saw it I said to myself that this is a nice photograph but how unusual . I continued to read the article and I understood how people would associate the photograph with photo editing. The photographer explained in her own terms that it is not photoshopped.  Here are her comments:

To all of you DOUBTING THOMAS’S out there who distrust the originality of this photograph: It is NOT Photoshopped. I was in the local communal lands looking for my lost Dalmatian dog, and I stopped to ask his mother if she had seen it. While I was talking to her, her son, who was playing with his siblings and friends nearby, caught my eye. I asked her if I could photograph him, and this is the first picture that I took of him – it was possibly his first interaction up close with a white person, and his fascination in me, or in the camera, is plainly evident. I took a few photos of him at the time, and a few more later on a follow-up. An ophthalmologist friend had this to say about his unusual eyes:

“The picture of the little boy with the blue eyes and dark skin probably represents Ocular Albinism or Nettleship-Falls albinism, or Juvenile uveitis. Both conditions cause the pigment of the iris to be less dense.”

Ms Brislow took another photo of this little boy and you can see where he was a little more relaxed and the resulting shot is evident of his new-found love of the camera.

Vanessa Brislow photo of the little boy in Africa

So I went to work to find out more of this unusual phenomenon as just today I ran across another photo of these beautiful eyes . Not sure who to credit for the work but  here  is the picture.

From Facebook

The word “albinism” refers to a group of inherited conditions. People with albinism have little or no pigment in their eyes, skin, or hair. They have inherited altered genes that do not make the usual amounts of a pigment called melanin. One person in 17,000 in the U.S.A. has some type of albinism. Albinism affects people from all races. Most children with albinism are born to parents who have normal hair and eye color for their ethnic backgrounds. Sometimes people do not recognize that they have albinism. A common myth is that people with albinism have red eyes. In fact there are different types of albinism and the amount of pigment in the eyes varies. Although some individuals with albinism have reddish or violet eyes, most have blue eyes. Some have hazel or brown eyes. However, all forms of albinism are associated with vision problems. Read more at the website: http://www.albinism.org/publications/what_is_albinism.html

This medical condition is real and it is reported to affect 1 in 60, 000 male born per year even lesser females. If you do the math there are a few people in the world with that condition. Whilst we are fascinated with the beautiful colors of the person’s eyes the fact is those that have it are going through living hell by people’s misconception. Like everything in the world those that are different are ridiculed from birth, sometimes ostracized by family members and friends and they come to accept a world that is harsh to their realties.  Let us hope this little boy gets to live a normal life or as close to normal  can be. For us that are now educated on the matter  spread the word  and educate one person at a time. More reading at the website below.

http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/ocular-albinism

4 thoughts on “The unusual eyes of Africa

  1. Wow…Hello Vanessa. no thank YOU for such a beautiful and interesting story. It wa my pleasure bringing it to the world. It still fascinates me. Thanks again for contacting me. Have a great day.

    Like

  2. Hi – Thanks for posting my photographs of “The Boy with Sapphire Eyes”. The beautiful girl with sapphire eyes below them was taken by Ann Sutton Glass, who coincidently, was at school with me!

    Like

    • thanks for that lively picture,it reminded me of how my friends little brother has similar eyes and thus been discriminated in our society,the boy has been taken to a special sku with people with disabilities,I don’t believe having such eyes is a disability.ssensitization has to be carried out in our African societies to avoid our fellow beautiful beings been discriminated and segregated.

      Like

      • Thank you for your response. You are so right, it is not a disability, ,how can such beauty be a disability? As a race we can be as ignorant when we want to be. Such ignorance is a disability. All the best.
        Paul

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s