How do you navigate a world where the partial or complete absence of pigment in your skin and eyes marks you as a lucky charm or a vital ingredient in cooking up a supernatural concoction? That’s what Peda Studio’s upcoming title, Under the Sun will explore

Written by Austine Osas, Peda’s new offering is a story highlighting the plight of persons with albinism in Africa. Set in Zamia (a fictional African nation), Under The Sun draws attention to the dangers faced by persons with albinism in Africa, a continent where magic, supernatural beliefs and witchcraft thrive and “albinos” supposedly fuel the potency of those magics. 

The comic will give readers a backseat into two kids’ lives as they endure the pressure of a society that wrongfully believes them to be gifted with “luck” in a time of war, as they lose their homes, families and friends.

According to the creator and writer, Austine Osas, Under The Sun is “our way of drawing attention to the pain and injustice meted out to persons with albinism based solely on the colour of their skin”. He echoes the universal fact that, “persons with albinism are normal people like you and me who want to be treated equally with respect”. 

In December 2011, investigative journalists, Anas Amereyaw Anas (Ghana) and Richard Mgamba (Tanzania) together with Isaack Timothy and Al-Jazeera News released a harrowing documentary investigating the sinister trade in the body parts of albinos murdered in Tanzania. 

According to the report accompanying the documentary, “albinos have traditionally faced discrimination and prejudice – innocent victims of a still widespread belief that the condition is in some way associated with the supernatural.

To some, a white-skinned African person is seen as a kind of phantom or ghost, who rather than die will dissolve or disappear with the wind and rain. As a result, in some communities, albinos have been feared, shunned and socially marginalised”.

Under the Sun comic cover by Peda Studios

Austine was inspired to write Under the Sun by the killings of persons with albinism in countries like Tanzania, Malawi and just recently South Africa.  The comic was written with background info from the Albino Foundation (Nigeria) and Under The Same Sun Foundation, an international NGO that promotes the well-being of persons with albinism using advocacy and education. 

Nobody deserves to be derided, viewed as an abnormality or killed because of the lack of pigment in their skin, hair and eyes.” 

Austine Osas

Speaking further about the project he reiterated that the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says that the body parts are traded in a lucrative market for use in witchcraft. Reported prices range from $2,000 for a limb to $75,000 for a corpse. 

Under the Sun, a poetic title that embodies humanity follows in the footsteps of Dunamis (which tackles a similar theme), Lake of Tears and Karmzah which use the fluid comic book medium to tell critical stories and bringer them closer to home.

Under the Sun employs the talents of Austine Osas (writer & creator), Abiodun Awodele (writer), Yusuf Temitope (art), Nsia Ndidi (colours & cover art) and Peter Daniel (lettering). 

Under The Sun is available to read on and other platforms (print and digital format).