The Ministry of Tomorrow has teamed up with iconic Malian singer and musician Salif Keita for our new Light Collection. The collection offers each distinctive MOT style in all white vegan leather with our signature Maasai warrior print lining reversed on a white cotton/canvas with black ink detailing. Each MOT bag and accessory is made with the highest quality animal free leather, 100% certified organic fair trade cotton from India, and low impact dye. Every Light Collection purchase helps support the education, advocacy, and activism work Salif and the Salif Keita Global Foundation are doing to change the lives of people with albinism in Mali and across the globe.
Albinism is a condition that reduces the amount of melanin pigment formed in the skin, hair, and eyes.It is inherited genetically and occurs in all racial and ethnic groups. Approximately one in 18,000 people in the US have some type of albinism. This number can be as high as one in 3,000 in other parts of the world and one in 1,000 in certain regions of Africa. People with albinism often suffer from vision impairments caused by abnormal development of the retina and nerve connections between the eye and the brain. Their fair complexions require diligent use of sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing. Those without access to adequate skin protection often develop life-threatening skin cancers.
Albinism is commonly misunderstood due to superstition and misinformation. Children with albinism often report ostracization and isolation and face threats of discrimination, bullying, violence, and even murder. Recently, there has been an unprecedented rise in witchcraft-related killings in parts of Africa with body parts of people with albinism selling on black markets for up to $75,000. African parents have been known to resort to infanticide and children with albinism report severe emotional problems stemming from the social alienation and abuse they experience. Studies find that African people with albinism are less likely to finish school, secure employment, and engage in romantic relationships. But, the Salif Keita Global Foundation is working to change things and create a brighter future for people with albinism.
Salif Keita is an award winning musician, humanitarian, and one of the most iconic names in African pop music. His pioneering work as a synthesist and vocalist earned him the nickname “the golden voice of Africa.” He built his distinctive sound half a century ago, combining mainstream pop, rock, funk and jazz with traditional Malian music. He is widely credited with helping bring Malian pop music to a global audience and uses his music and platform to promote peace, social justice, and political change.
Salif was born with albinism and nearly blind at birth. Despite his royal lineage tracing back to Soundjata Keita and the beginning of the Malian Empire, Salif found himself cast out by his family and ostracized by his community. Kicked out of school and forbidden to sing, Salif set off to pursue his dreams of playing music and bringing awareness to the suffering of people with albinism. In 2005, he established the Salif Keita Global Foundation. Its mission is to end global discrimination, persecution, and genocide against people with albinism. With its partners around the world, SKGF works to combat negative stereotypes by developing and supporting campaigns promoting positive portrayals of people with albinism. It offers self-esteem building programs and connects people with local aid organizations. It provides grants and funding for job and computer training, skin cancer surgeries, and distribution of sunglasses and sunscreen. It also offers legal assistance for those suffering from persecution in their countries and seeking asylum abroad. The foundation has received widespread recognition and praise for its incredible work improving the lives of people with albinism in Mali and around the world.
The Ministry of Tomorrow is more than just an eco-fashion house. We are a social enterprise aimed at protecting the planet and all of its inhabitants. Support the Salif Keita Global Foundationand join the MOT movement. Learn more about Salif Keita’s music and work at salifkeita.us and shop the Light Collection at Ministryoftomorrow.com.