Lawyer, model and activist Thando Hopa has made history by becoming the first woman living with albinism to appear on the cover of Vogue.
The magazine honoured the African continent by having the South African model on the cover of its April Portuguese edition: “African Motherland”.
Hopa wrote in a Facebook post that she had told a close friend in the past that it would be “lovely to see” a woman with albinism on a Vogue cover.
She said she could not have imagined that woman to be her.
“We are the ones we have been waiting for. I’m emotional, because I see progress and get to form part of a progressive story and narrative.
“I got to a place in my career where I appreciate every specimen of my body and knowing that wherever I go, my existence, the way it is, has always and will always be enough,” she said.
I once said to a close friend that it would really be lovely to see a woman with albinism on a Vogue Cover, I would not have imagined that that woman would be me. “We are the ones we have been waiting for.
” I’m emotional, because I see progress and get to form part of a progressive story and narrative. I got to a place in my career where I appreciate every specimen of my body and knowing that wherever I go, my existence, the way it is, has always and will always be enough.
Thank you for allowing me to make a footnote in history @vogueportugal
Thank you to the people who advised, supported and contributed significantly to this journey, who harnessed the essence of representation and inclusion. @gertjohancoetzee @melshaw001 @asandasizani @lynetteb_ Dr Precious Motsepe @unalbinism @audisouthafrica @asifhoosen @khanyi_matla @phindiv @pirelli Tim Walker @bbcafrica @bbc @motsepefoundation @afi_sa @glamour_sa @marieclairesa @foschinisa @pridemm @fashion_friend1 @staceylhanmer @kirsten___goss @beautyrevolution_za @samhopa @wokeproject @mimiinblue @adwoaaboa @infra_red_99
Not to mention I worked with an amazing team, it was one of the most unique and refreshing experiences I’ve ever had.
Features editor @patriciatrdomingues
Editor in chief @sofia.slucas
Her post was flooded with congratulations from her supporters.
“I love this! I appreciate you and Vogue for embracing and promoting albinism in a positive light,” a comment read.
“So inspiring. All 3 of my children have albinism and they are the most beautiful things to me,” read another.
In December 2018, Hopa was named one of the top 100 most influential women across the world.
She is one of many people living with stigmatisation, discrimination and stereotyping because of her skin.
During an interview with Top Women last year, Hopa described having to deal with the issue.
“It was the contradictory beliefs that people with albinism bring either good or bad luck. Having people hug and hold me for good luck, or conversely spit into the necklines of their tops to ward off bad luck, or make a big show of not wanting to touch me for fear of becoming like me, or having children who are like me. I felt like a walking commodity, struggling to find words to explain how ordinary I