Home Australia Black South African woman whose daughter was born albinism reveals strangers accuse her of ‘cheating on her husband with a white man’

Black South African woman whose daughter was born albinism reveals strangers accuse her of ‘cheating on her husband with a white man’

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Belvana Abeli's daughter, two-year-old Zayana Domingos, was born with albinism and has light skin, hair and eyes, while her parents and two other siblings are black. The family is in the photo.

A South African woman has revealed that strangers accused her of cheating on her husband after her baby was born albino.

Belvana Abeli’s daughter, two-year-old Zayana Domingos, was born with albinism and has light skin, hair and eyes, while her parents and two other siblings are black.

The 36-year-old from Cape Town explained how her daughter is regularly discriminated against for looking different, and strangers ask her if she is adopted.

They also asked her how one daughter can have white skin and another black skin and she even accused Belvana of cheating on her husband because of her daughter’s appearance.

“The reaction to her having albinism was very good within our family, but externally there were a lot of questions,” Belvana said.

Belvana Abeli's daughter, two-year-old Zayana Domingos, was born with albinism and has light skin, hair and eyes, while her parents and two other siblings are black. The family is in the photo.

Belvana Abeli’s daughter, two-year-old Zayana Domingos, was born with albinism and has light skin, hair and eyes, while her parents and two other siblings are black. The family is in the photo.

The 36-year-old from Cape Town explained how her daughter is regularly discriminated against for looking different, and strangers ask her if she is adopted. Belvana Abeli, 36 years old (far left), Zivah Domingos, five years old (left), Zayana Domingos, two years old (right) and Natalino Domingos, 37 years old (far right) A

The 36-year-old from Cape Town explained how her daughter is regularly discriminated against for looking different, and strangers ask her if she is adopted. Belvana Abeli, 36 years old (far left), Zivah Domingos, five years old (left), Zayana Domingos, two years old (right) and Natalino Domingos, 37 years old (far right) A

The 36-year-old from Cape Town explained how her daughter is regularly discriminated against for looking different, and strangers ask her if she is adopted. Belvana Abeli, 36 years old (far left), Zivah Domingos, five years old (left), Zayana Domingos, two years old (right) and Natalino Domingos, 37 years old (far right) A

Zayana when she was a baby. Her mother Belvana says she is often asked if she is adopted.

Zayana when she was a baby. Her mother Belvana says she is often asked if she is adopted.

Zayana when she was a baby. Her mother Belvana says she is often asked if she is adopted.

“People have asked me if I cheated on my husband with a white person; it’s a lot to deal with.”

‘People will ask why my daughter is black and the other is white or if she is adopted. “It’s offensive, but people do it unconsciously.”

After suffering from Covid-19 during her pregnancy, she had to undergo an emergency cesarean section at just 28 weeks.

When she saw her newborn baby for the first time, Belvana wondered why her baby had a different skin color and red hair.

However, after genetic testing, doctors confirmed that Zayana had been born with albinism, a lifelong disease.

The mother of three was initially unsure if there was a family history of the condition and later learned that her grandmother’s great-uncle had albinism and also suffered discrimination.

Five-year-old Zivah is the oldest of the trio, while five-month-old Zander is the youngest, and neither of them has albinism.

People with albinism often suffer from poor vision due to a reduced amount of melanin in the cell layer of the eye, as well as having an increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

After suffering from Covid-19 during her pregnancy, she had to undergo an emergency cesarean section at just 28 weeks. Natalino Domingos, 37 years old (far left), Zayana Domingos, two years old (left), Belvana Abeli, 36 years old (right) and Zivah Domingos, five years old (far right)

After suffering from Covid-19 during her pregnancy, she had to undergo an emergency cesarean section at just 28 weeks. Natalino Domingos, 37 years old (far left), Zayana Domingos, two years old (left), Belvana Abeli, 36 years old (right) and Zivah Domingos, five years old (far right)

After suffering from Covid-19 during her pregnancy, she had to undergo an emergency cesarean section at just 28 weeks. Natalino Domingos, 37 years old (far left), Zayana Domingos, two years old (left), Belvana Abeli, 36 years old (right) and Zivah Domingos, five years old (far right)

People with albinism often suffer from poor vision due to a reduced amount of melanin in the cell layer of the eye, as well as having an increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Zayana and her mother in the photo.

People with albinism often suffer from poor vision due to reduced amounts of melanin in the cell layer of the eye, as well as having an increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Zayana and her mother in the photo.

People with albinism often suffer from poor vision due to reduced amounts of melanin in the cell layer of the eye, as well as having an increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Zayana and her mother in the photo.

What is albinism?

Oculocutaneous albinism is the most common type and affects the skin, hair and eyes. Those affected usually have very light skin and white or light-colored hair. Prolonged sun exposure greatly increases the risk of skin damage.

Oculocutaneous albinism reduces the pigmentation of the colored part of the iris and the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the retina. The condition can be caused by mutations in several genes, including those used to produce melanin.

Melanin is the pigment that gives color to the skin, hair and eyes. In the retina, melanin also plays a role in normal vision.

Oculocutaneous albinism is transmitted with an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern. This means that a child must get two copies of the albinism gene (one from each parent) to inherit the condition.

If both parents carry the gene, there is a one in four chance that their child will have albinism and a 50 percent chance that they will be a carrier. Carriers do not have albinism but can pass on the gene.

Source: National Health Service

After getting pregnant with her third baby, Belvana became curious about what skin color her next child would have after having an albino baby.

He consulted the doctor to see if there was any test that could be performed to determine possible albinism.

Although she didn’t care, Belvana wanted to minimize any possible shock.

Her oldest daughter, Zivah, has started asking questions about why her little sister looks different from the rest of the family.

However, Belvana says she simply thinks babies can be born white or black.

Zayana in the photo

Zayana in the photo

Speaking about her “miraculous” albino baby, Belvana said: “Giving birth to an albino baby was a surprise as albinism was not known to be hereditary in any of our families.” Zayana in the photo.

Zayana appears as a baby, her mother says she is too young to question her appearance

Zayana appears as a baby, her mother says she is too young to question her appearance

Zayana appears as a baby, her mother says she is too young to question her appearance

She added that Zayana is too young to question her appearance, but her mother knows the questions will be asked when she is older.

Speaking about her ‘miraculous’ albino baby, Belvana said: ‘Giving birth to an albino baby was a surprise as albinism was not known to be hereditary in any of our families.

‘Doctors initially said his skin and hair would darken over time, but after a few days in hospital, they informed us he had albinism.

‘As time went by, his skin and eyes became lighter and lighter.

‘We already had a black daughter and we were not expecting an albino baby.

Belvana says Zayana is her 'miracle baby' (pictured with father Natalino, 37 years old)

Belvana says Zayana is her 'miracle baby' (pictured with father Natalino, 37 years old)

Belvana says Zayana is her ‘miracle baby’ (pictured with father Natalino, 37 years old)

Belvana Abeli's two-year-old daughter Zayana Domingos was born with albinism

Belvana Abeli's two-year-old daughter Zayana Domingos was born with albinism

Belvana Abeli’s two-year-old daughter Zayana Domingos was born with albinism

‘Having an albino child has been challenging at times due to lack of education about albinism; For example, we were told that our daughter needs a special school because albinism is a disability.

‘Sometimes they ask us if she is adopted.

‘But it has also been a great blessing for us because it has given us the opportunity to share our story and increase knowledge about albinism.

‘When I was pregnant with my son, my daughter asked me if he was going to be black or white.

‘My eldest daughter is getting to a point where she is starting to understand that Zayana is different from the other members of the family.

“But she is our miracle baby and we are so lucky to have her in our lives.”

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