Africa is filled with intelligent people of colour.
It is also filled with people who either don't understand their origin, culture and tradition or they feel it is not important anymore or they think it is archaic.
This has degenerated into the infamous bleaching culture. Well, the bleaching culture caused it all.
When I was a kid, the only place we saw people that bleached was the public transport garage and they were men. They thought it made them look attractive.
Our parents told us that those men are not good examples, they didn't know that there was a deeper sensitivity to that act.
They didn't know that at that time they already were having their minds bleached by the residue of whiteness left in Nigeria, by the white man.
Fast forward many years after, we are all bleached out to white. Mrs Kalejaiye sits in her couch in the living room, watching big brother, complaining about how bleached Rosa's skin looks, but her first child was named Stacy, the second is Ron, she is pregnant with third, she and her husband are already thinking of names but it never occurred to them that they might consider naming this little angel Toyosi or Abike. Do you know why? They have been bleached into thinking if the name is imported, it is better. So who's worse, the one who bleaches because of low self esteem or the one who bleaches intentionally out of pride and sentences an innocent child to a life of answering a name they'll never understand?
Chidiogo was a beautiful dark skinned girl, well, she was loved by her parents,loved by her friends, loved.
At sixteen, she realized that all her light skinned friends had boyfriends but not her. There was no one she could talk to about it except her friends . No one was telling her she is beautiful. No one was letting her know she didn't have a boyfriend because more boys love to hangout with light skinned girls. We can say not totally, she is just unfortunate.
Abdul is a 26 years old man, he has dated quite a few ladies. He was asked why they were all light skinned girls, he said who wants darkness? He wants someone who enters the room and lights everything up. So you see, light is light, is good, dark is black, is bad!
Chidiogo is 23 now, she is light skinned now, she is confident now. She still dosen'thave a stable relationship but her Whatsapp is always buzzing, filled with men who want to talk to beautiful light skinned Chidiogo. Her pictures on Instagram gets hundreds of likes without a single hashtag. In fact when she is walking on the road, she gets called all the time, men stop in their cars to offer lifts. Well, her relationships have not been stable because most of these guys do not trust her. She is happy now at least she has the attention of the world. Whenever she thinks about the near future when her mom would start to ask her the only kind of question that would look like an inquiry into her well being, she gets scared because she, chidiogo do not trust these men. It seems they all come for her body. She didn't realize though that she has been choosing them for their money too. She has realized she isn't low maintenance anymore. These creams don't come cheap. Deep inside she is scared and depressed like most ladies who bleached to get attention from men.
African parents need to know they can't continue bleaching the minds of kids from birth. From names to school to TV to this immense love for things imported, for example, colour. We need to start telling our girl children that they are beautiful regardless their colour. We need to make them realize that it's okay to be African, African outside, human inside. Lets start using cerebral abilities to describe our girls instead of physical beauty.
In the end, Africa is our home, black is our colour, beautiful is our identity.