This is the story of a young boy in Ethiopia. The color of his eyes truly stands out as it is extremely rare to find a blue-eyed boy in Ethiopia. Abushe is from Jinka, southern Ethiopia. With his dark skin that accentuates his blue eyes, his look has captured the imagination of the world. The young boy was born with a condition known as Waardenburg syndrome, which is a melanin gene mutation affecting the pigment in the development of eye color. According to the United States National Library of Medicine, this condition is very rare and affects an estimated 1 in 40,000 people. As such, Abushe was born with the most startling blue eyes.
Abushe is 8, he lives in south Ethiopia, i met him in front of a bank. His blue eyes were just incredible.
I came back the day after to try to know more about this kid. His mother works in a farm , 30 km from there, his father is pass on. He used to live in his grand mother house, but last week, a fi-re erupted in the poor wooden house, so he lost all his school books and his blanquet. As the grand mother house is too far from the school, he lives in a very small room in a metal house without window, full of dirt, and sleeps there on with a friend. At 8 years old. As his books have burnt, he cannot go to school anymore. His blue eyes allowed him to meet foreigners who took care of him on this day, but so many kids with black eyes are also living this incredible life…
When Abushe’s parents saw his eyes, they were shocked; they feared he was blind. Being desperately poor, they could not have him diagnosed and treated.
Abushe’s parents then came to an understanding that his rare condition was a “gift from God.” When French photographer Eric Lafforgue met Abushe in early 2016, the boy lived with his grandparents in a small hut made out of hatch and wood. He was able to attend school, and the food was provided by generous patrons of the restaurant opposite the slum. He and his grandmother escaped without any major in-juries except for a b-urn on Abushe’s forehead.The fi-re destroyed the few possessions the family had, but luckily, Abushe was able to save something extremely precious. A red soccer ball is Abushe’s whole world. His dream is to play soccer one day with famous soccer stars.
The young boy’s favorite team is Barcelona. He is an avid fan and watches games whenever he can. He admires the forward Lionel Messi. Abushe told Lafforgue, “Messi is just like me. He is not like the others!”
This phenomenon is rare and is thought to occur every 300,000 births on all continents. Its effects are obviously striking on a child with black skin like the little Ethiopian. In the middle of the tukuls, there is always a fireplace which is used to cook, to repel insects and to provide heat at night He never misses a Barcelona game in the bars broadcasting football games and loves Messi: “He is just like me, he is not like the others!” As they were very poor, they could not afford a doctor. They had to wait long months to understand that the child was seeing correctly. They concluded that it was a gift from God and not a curse that had fallen on the family.
He could not afford to pay the daily bus ticket from his grandmother’s village. He shows me a filthy cardboard on the floor, his new bed. “It’s dirty here,” he whispers, ashamed.
This Article Was First Published on “ethiopanorama.com“