Enam Heikeens Honya is a Ghanaian with Vitiligo.
She shared her self acceptance journey with pulseng, and it’s an exceptional story…
“Every time we went to the hospital, the doctors said there was nothing wrong with
me. But this ‘thing’ kept spreading” , says Enam Heikeens Honya, a vitiligo
ambassador in Ghana.
Her first patches emerged when she was seven years old. The family roamed
hospitals in Ghana and abroad in search of answers on what was a strange condition
to them at the time.
This ‘thing’ turned out to be vitiligo, which in Enam’s case had been passed on genetically.
Honya, 24, says living with vitiligo can be a very isolating and traumatising
“Growing up wasn’t easy…People really stigmatised. You have to go to school and
people will not even like to talk to you.” she articulated, ” You go to an occasion
and people wouldn’t like to shake hands with you. Even your course mates wouldn’t
like to sit beside you or go to lunch break with you .”
One day a woman shouted ‘witch! witch!’ upon seeing Enam on a bus.
Ending it all
The rejection got to Enam and on three occasions, she attempted suicide.
“It was something depressing for me and there came a point in time when I wanted
to commit suicide; to just end it all there. Fortunately for me it couldn’t happen. I
have tried it three times just to get rid of myself, knowing that people don’t accept
“The last one was just a miracle because I was just at the verge of doing it and I
got saved. And [that experience] even led me to know more about vitiligo, to learn
and research more about it. I think it was breakthrough for me.”
Honya’s day job is in the health service as a nurse in Ho, Volta Region, which she
describes as an ‘awesome feeling’.
“After senior high school (at Keta Business Senior High School), I decided that since
vitiligo is health related, why don’t I go and learn about health, details about my
skin and have a fair idea of the anatomy of the human body?”
“You get to meet your patients asking questions [about vitiligo] and you have the
opportunity to explain it to them. It’s one awesome feeling. Though some patients
really get weird with the questions, I believe it is just one way of telling them that
no matter your skin colour, you can be who you want to be.
some of the children even like to play with my skin.”
Read the full interview here
More stunning pictures below…