Lutendo Mugeri is only seven years old, but he is already an activist against albino killings. He says there are two incidents that made him "very sad" and left him with the urge to fight for the rights of people living with albinism.
"That is the incident that took place in October 2016 in Johannesburg. Wanda Nkosi was living with albinism and he was living in the streets and when he was walking [whe] thugs came and chopped off his finger with pliers," Mugeri said.
The Grade 2 pupil recently joined the Tassie Foundation and was part of the recent march to the Union Buildings. The organisation called for the justice department to impose harsher sentences on those found guilty of killing, raping and other "dehumanising" and criminal acts against people with albinism.
A memorandum also urged the basic education department to give pupils with albinism an opportunity to access mainstream schools — not those for children with special needs.
"I enjoy sending out a message to all the people so that they must be educated about albinism," he said.
Despite his fighting spirit, Mugeri still faces teasing at school.
"I even have friends that don't even look like me but some kids at school also call me names like 'mlungu' [white person], but I just tell them God wanted me like this and God made me like this," he told HuffPost.
He encourages other children who are taunted by their peers to stand up for themselves.
"I would tell them that, if a bully comes to [you] and tries to bully you and says, 'hahahah, you are an ugly albino', just say to them God wanted me like this, God made me like this. If you have a problem with me, it is better that you don't talk to me and you do not tease me..." he said.
"I would make sure that everyone is educated.I would make sure that people living with albinism had homes and have money to buy food and sunblock."
One of his biggest wishes is to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss the issues affecting people living with albinism.
"I would say to him, please provide safety for kids living with albinism. Tell government to give money to the organisations, so they can give it to people living with albinism in the streets," Mugeri said.
He said if he were president, he would try by all means to protect people living with albinism.
"I would make sure that everyone is educated. I would make sure that people living with albinism had homes and have money to buy food and sunblock."
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.