Vicky Ntetema

Vicky Ntetema first became involved in albinism advocacy as the Tanzanian bureau chief for the BBC. She had heard rumors about witch doctors using the body parts of people with albinism to make potions, and felt compelled to investigate. She discovered that this was an organized black market in December of 2007, and began an undercover investigation. She secretly filmed mercenaries willing to kill people for their body parts by posing as a potential customer. In the wake of publicity after the story broke, Vicky received death threats from those involved in the black market. As a result, Vicky was forced to go into hiding and take a sabbatical from BBC.

Vicky met Mariamu while reporting on her plight, and they formed a deep and permanent bond. For Vicky, advocating and reporting on behalf of people with albinism has become her life's work.  As she says, "it's not a job, it's a calling." Her deep commitment is evident in her actions - Vicky is now fostering two young girls with albinism named Semeni and Shida, and she has left the BBC to work full-time on this issue.  

Vicky’s work will take her to rural villages throughout northern Tanzania, chronicling the crimes and gathering information.  She will develop that information into action plans for groups like Asante Mariamu, so that we may better serve the needs of people with albinism in East Africa.

Vicky currently serves as the Executive Director of Media and International Affairs for our Canadian partner Under The Same Sun.  She received an MA in Journalism at the Byelorussion State University. (Byelorus) and an MSc in Software Engineering at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

When not travelling, Vicky lives in Dar es Salaam with her foster children and two sons.


View the BBC video and read Vicky’s undercover story from July 2008:

In hiding for exposing Tanzania witchdoctors

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