Photography by Baveesha Photography
Story by Alvina Motilall
MY STORY | My name is Alvina Motilall I am 19 years old and I have had vitiligo from the age of 3 . To me it is my whole life, because I can never remember being without my patches. Being so small when I first had it, it did not really have much of an effect on me because I was too small to really know what was going on, all I knew Is that I looked different compared to the rest of my family, and occasionally tried to scrub off the patches or hoped it will heal overnight. As I grew up I began to realize I am DIFFERENT and noticed how the rest of the world reacted to me, this affected me a lot which most of my family are unaware of because I have always been absolutely confident and walked with my head held high but as I entered my teen years it began to affect me. I’ve been on treatment from the age of 3 I have been fully white, patchy with more white, patchy with less white and almost fully brown, which nobody can ever remember, including me, because everyone gets used to my appearance every year. In 2006 I decided to write about me for an English speech which my mother was not very keen on but I was determined to share with my friends how I truly felt, as I wrote I realized wow these patches define me, it is who “I” AM and I decided to name my speech MY PROUDEST MOMENT which was when I didn’t feel different. And I have now written 4 speeches which has impacted many people and gained a lot of recognition in Durban.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST STRUGGLE WITH VITILGO, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
To be honest I never really had a big struggle with vitiligo. I had my days where I felt down because somebody picked on me or I wanted to be like my sister ‘ONE COLOUR”, but I guess I have my FAMILY and friends to thank for not struggling. They treated me equally and supported me in everything I wanted to do. I look up especially to my mum, my dad and my sister Ashmeika who has overcome many struggles of her own. My aunt Pricilla also has Vitiligo, she is completely white and has been a great inspiration. Lastly if it was not for my cousins Vash, Les and Marlene, I would have not made it through my schooling career. In the year 2007 I began to reach out to other kids who were embarrassed about having vitiligo and helped them overcome this. I shared my speeches with people who realized that treating people who are different equally, is good. I also decided that instead of crying and bringing myself down I would confront those who would pick on me and make them understand, what it felt like to be in my position. I am proud to say I changed the way many students think and treat people in my primary and high school. I always wanted to reach out to more people and with the help of LOVEauthentic I am now able to achieve my goals , once again my name is Alvina Motilall and I am proud to be DIFFERENT.
WHAT ARE THE LESSONS OR MOTIVATIONS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH ALL
Never give anyone the opportunity to bring you down, if you bring yourself down you are just giving another person leverage to bring you down more, love yourself and learn to embrace your flaws.
To make vitiligo fun do what I do with my cousins find cool patches ,I’ve found a Pac-man and a heart and I think that’s pretty cool I mean who else can say they have cool and amazing tattoos that change as years go pass.
Photography by Kashmira Naran
Story by Baveesha Naran
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