Meet Onome Majaro
Onome Majaro is the COO of Onome Akinlolu Majaro Foundation (OAM Foundation). If you remember correctly, I first mentioned The OAM Foundation on one of our Albimazing Top 5 posts. The foundation’s focus is to stimulate a movement that roots out sociocultural stereotypes about albinism in Nigeria and the world, and plant the seeds of empowerment for people living with albinism.
This is why I thought it would be awesome to have Onome as our very first Albimazing Person on the site. In addition to being a Public Relations Manager at an Events Management firm, she is dedicating her time to changing the lives of albinos in Nigeria, and abroad, by herself being a giant web of inspiration.
When asked to describe herself in three words, Onome responded:
Compassionate, easy-going, driven
At what age did you realize that your skin tone made you unique?
I’m not exactly sure; I know I was in primary school.
When would you say you felt the lowest about your complexion?
I was in secondary school and a teacher picked on me and used my complexion to attack me.
At what point did you become more confident in your skin?
From a young age, my mum raised me to be confident and proud of myself. However I grew more confident over the years.
Who/what would you say credit for building your foundation of confidence?
My mum, she is a constant source of encouragement. She says thing like, you’re a gold fish you have no hiding place, so step out and shine or some other witty comment. She made me the strong confident woman I am.
How did he/she/this instill the importance of self-assurance?
She made me realize that I can do anything, she is probably my biggest cheer leader. She says you are amazing and wonderfully made, you have to be strong, people will try to get at you but remember the people who matter love you and if you love yourself no one can make you feel less of a human.
When would you say you truly came into your own and embraced everything about yourself?
This happened over the years, from the moment I realized I was different. I guess with each new day, with each new achievement, I embrace myself more.
What makes you feel confident and beautiful?
The fact that I am in complete control of my life and I am blessed with supportive people, people who are comfortable with who I am and wouldn’t have me any other way.
What advice do you have for a woman or young girl struggling with self-esteem issues related to what is perceived as a “flaw?”
It is important to define who you are; you can’t let people define you. You need to love yourself and live your life. I read a quote that fits perfectly into this “Do not wish to be anything but who you are, and try to be that perfectly” (St. Francis de Sales).
What advice would you give your younger self?
When I was young I wanted to play like others and I got sun burned and learnt my lesson. I will advice my younger self to listen to the words ‘you cannot play outside; the sun is not your friend’ because sun burns are horrible.
What’s your favorite thing about your skin?
My complexion makes life interesting. With each new day, there is a possibility I will hear some very flattering comments, meet the most ignorant person or find out some myth about albinos I was before unaware of.
What do you want people to know about albinism?
I understand that much of the discrimination and neglect suffered by people with albinism can be traced to ignorance on the part of the public. I want people to know that albinism is just the absence of skin pigmentation and that albinos are just like them.
Words you live by?
Kindness changes everything
I think, for longer than we’d care to admit, a number of albinos have waited for someone to step in and do something to make it easier for us to live. I’m guilty of this as well. Who is this someone? I’m not exactly sure. But I am positively glad that most of us have taken it into our hands to make our lives, and those of other albinos, better in any way we can.
I am especially glad that Onome Majaro is paving the way by building a community of acceptance right here in the country. I am very excited for what the OAM Foundation aims to do and can’t wait to see the results.