sports

June 20, 2022

MIKIA KALATI

4 min read

Khale uses football to fight albinism discrimination

Khale uses football to fight albinism discrimination

Coach Majoro Khale and his charges

Story highlights

  • Skin colour doesn’t deter Khale from reaching his dreams
  • Skin colour doesn’t deter Khale from reaching his dreams

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GROWING up in Butha Buthe, Majoro Khale’s dream was to become a professional football player, unfortunately that dream was cut short by rife discrimination against people like him born with albinism.

However, that did not force Khale to leave the beautiful game completely as he continued to serve football in different portfolios while putting most of his focus on his studies.

In 2021, he completed the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) Governance and Administration course, which was held for the DIFA Butha Buthe, where he has been offered a role as a grassroots coach.

“My football journey began at a rural academy called Bala Bolo Liphakoeng One in 2006 at the age of 14. The academy was established by a retired mineworker,” Khale recalls.

“Unfortunately, my transition to competitive football never materialised because of rife discrimination in the village teams. In 2012, I relocated to QwaQwa in South Africa to attend Mohato Senior Secondary School. I served as an assistant coach in the school’s soccer team.”

Khale says living with albinism is extremely difficult as one is denied opportunities to contribute meaningfully to society.

“At the National University of Lesotho (NUL), I tried a hand as the assistant coach for the female’s soccer team, but the coach just didn’t like it and after graduating, I return to Butha-Buthe and took up a coaching position with Mabine Highlanders - my community team,” he says.

Khale states that DIFA Botha Bothe operating under the umbrella of the LeFA, lived by the statutes of its mother body, which clearly stipulates that LeFA is neutral in matters of politics and religion, discrimination of any kind against a country, private persons, or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics, or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.

This, DIFA Butha-Buthe did by opening its doors to Khale to attend the LeFA Governance and Administrations course. He is now regularly invited to take part in the association’s grassroot programmes in the district.

“I left Mabine Highlanders because of discrimination, luckily the Buthe-Buthe District Football Association took me in when the Administration and Governance course was held in the district.”

The aspiring grassroots coach explains that as the world celebrated the International Albinism Awareness Day on June 13, he wants to take a leading role advocating and working on albinism awareness programmes across the country.

“I have discovered that since 2011, with Albino United in Tanzania, teams with albinism people have been on the rise in the most rebellious places.

“I would like to take part in advocacy and awareness raising programmes. Additionally, I have a teaching background, which also has life skills education aspect. So, I would gladly love to share perspectives with the football fraternity,” he says.

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The aspiring coach says the discrimination he went through growing up has helped him to become brave and is committed to helping to those that continue to face the stigma of living with albinism.

“Living with albinism is very challenging. Society sees an albino as an abomination to cast aside or incapable and should be denied opportunities to contribute to society in a way they desire,” he says.

His greatest ambition is to become a FIFA employee as one of the greatest grassroots instructors and integration ambassador.

“My biggest ambition is to become a FIFA employee as one of the greatest grassroots coaches and integration ambassador,” he says.

“I’m very much into the idea of making football truly global, which is the FIFA theme and I’m fond of telling people that I’m the only white boy within the Lesotho football fraternity beside the national team coach, Mr Veselin Jelusic and the deputy Secretary General, Ntate Chris Bullock,” he concludes with a joke.

 

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