In the spring of 2023, Vivienne Temitope Hassan’s life took an unexpected turn with the birth of her son, Zayne. As a 24-year-old black mother, Vivienne was surprised when Zayne was born with albinism, characterized by white skin and blonde hair, a stark contrast to both parents’ skin tones. Despite initial concerns about Zayne’s health and vision due to albinism, Vivienne and her husband Ezekiel embraced the opportunity to learn about the condition and adapt their parenting to meet Zayne’s unique needs.
The moment midwives handed Zayne to Vivienne was marked by shock and happiness. Despite the initial surprise, the couple embraced their son with unconditional love. Zayne’s uniqueness extended beyond his appearance as, at three months old, his hair transformed into a vibrant shade of red.
In a society sometimes struggling with accepting differences, Vivienne took the extraordinary step of dying her own hair to match Zayne’s—a visible symbol of a mother’s love transcending conventional norms. Albinism brought challenges like photophobia, requiring careful sun protection. Vivienne diligently applies sunscreen and outfits Zayne with a hat to shield his sensitive eyes and skin, addressing the unique needs of albinism.
Zayne’s vision is affected by albinism, presenting challenges in seeing people from a distance. Vivienne emphasizes the ongoing vigilance needed to monitor Zayne’s sight as he grows. Despite attracting curious stares, Vivienne focuses on the joy Zayne brings to those around him.
To document Zayne’s journey and raise awareness about albinism, Vivienne turned to TikTok, where Zayne now has over 260,000 followers. However, the platform hasn’t been without challenges, as online trolls criticize their family and even question Zayne’s paternity. Despite hurtful comments, Vivienne remains resilient, building a supportive community that celebrates Zayne’s uniqueness.
Vivienne Temitope Hassan’s journey with Zayne illustrates a mother’s unconditional love and resilience. By sharing their story, Vivienne advocates for inclusivity and acceptance, turning challenges into opportunities to educate and inspire. In the face of public curiosity and online criticism, she stands strong, proving that love and acceptance can triumph over adversity.