african life issues

Skin lightening disease: Annihilating the dark melanin 

The other day i was fascinated by the dettol advert of a soap that tones the skin,eradicating any black spots on your face or body. My question was, why don’t the cosmetic companies manufacture a product that ‘evenly’ blackens the skin instead of lightening the dark patches only? …..

Bleaching, skin lightening, removing the tint (as others call it) or being ‘enlightened’ are just terms meaning ditching the dark melanin embedded in your skin layers for a look that resembles the packed chicken in the supermarket fridges.

I,a proud Kenyan, was lucky enough to be born dark-skinned in this generation where 45% of my age mates are naturally brown. The rest, where the larger proportion bleach to gain the coveted lighter skin, are born with an ebony or chocolate complexion.
I have faced numerous situations where I was rejected by the opposite sex due to the chocolate colour, but hey, the world ain’t ending soon, so I don’t let that bother me much. Walking away and switching your hearing mode off to block the negative comments of the society and stoneaged people, is usually the only way out of the tempting idea to shed the dark melanin off your body.

The society, made up of media and glued together by old wives fables,project that the lighter you are the more beautiful,sexy and appealing you become.

From adverts to local shows and international films, the same message still makes rounds in the airwaves despite the outcry against favoritism on the lighter shades of melanin. No one cares. Few listen and act.

Young girls in Kenya, born much darker than their counterparts learn that no man will admire you when covered with ‘filthy’ dark melanin. In the social media, the socialites are lighter in colour almost white,added to the list are; TV presenters,actors,musicians,celebrities and movie stars- many who are light skinned.

There is no way the other dark ladies will believe they are worth looking at.

The beauty industry is making things worse daily. The industry is adding wood to the furnace of descrimination. It is very hard to find a foundation that blends with ebony or chocolate complexion. A lot of products in the market that boast of evening skin tone, removing acne or rashes and moisturizing the skin, react negatively with the darker shades of brown. You end up with breakouts that you never had or a face hideous than a warthog’s.

To the fashion industry in Kenya. Another spark that lights up the fire. The editors and photographers have really tried to include the darker shades, however,the lion’s share goes to the lighter counterparts.

Welcome to the dating games. According to Kenyan men tastes (most of them) ,the trophy girlfriends /wives are the lighter ones while the dark skinned are the plain Janes, the homemakers hidden in the villages under grass huts cooking in a smoky kitchen with wood and a pot. This is saddening.

It has been an evil rooted in the mind of many that the darker the skin the uglier the look. Really?

All these factors contribute to the success of bleaching industries.

Those from Uganda, Congo, Tanzania and River road of Nairobi Kenya ,have enjoyed a boost in the market from the collapsing self esteem of black beauties.

Despite the achievement of bleaching your skin to the bones, simultaneously, you successfully reduce the lifespan you have on earth.

First and foremost:

  1. Severe sensitivity to the sun. This means throwing lots of money on sunscreen and sun hats . There will be no more sun bathing by the beach for you.
  2. Susceptible to mighty sunburns. The sun will patiently skin you alive and the process is painful.
  3. High chances of skin cancer. The chemicals in the bleaching agents screw up with the skin cells leading to damage and formation of radicle elements which facilitate tumour development.
  4. Uneven bleaching. The knuckles, joints of the toes elbows and knees may resist the lightening effect.

Yep…. That’s the point. You crawl nearer to your grave with every smear to the skin or tablet you ingest into your body. ‘Nearer my God to thee’ will be the soundtrack in your life.

It is not worth it.

People rarely realise what they have until it’s gone.

Others, somewhere in this world, are busy breaking their bank accounts to get the perfect sun tan or tanning spray. They lie down everyday under the sun,like stakes on a grill,to darken the paleness of their body or lock themselves in coffin-like tanning machines for that look, yet you -yes you-with abundant melanin, is trying to compete with a skinned, packed chicken on the counter of a butchery.

It’s time for the black queens to deafen their ears and blind their eyes to all the negativity swarming in this modern world .


  1. Thanks so much for writing about this and even if it will stop just one, two or just a few people from thinking about bleaching, you have done a great job. I’m dark skinned and I appreciate every inch of it; I would never wish to be anything else despite so much negativity we encounter. Black Is Beautiful and I wish we would instill this in all young kids esp girls to learn to love and appreciate oneself.


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