When people crack jokes about how they can’t recognize some of their friends again because they have changed their colour. I turn my face to one corner and yimu, I find it hard to belive someone wouldn’t recognize a friend again because they bleached. But as they say, if it has never happened to you, you have no right to pass comments on certain issues, it happened to me so I am here to talk.
On Wednesday, I decided to go to the shop of a tailor that had shown me pepper twice. So I set out on this burning Wednesday afternoon, the sun was out with vigour shinning it sparkling teeth sapping what was left of my energy as I drag my weak self to his shop.
I greeted everyone before asking of their “boss” and they pointed at him, it turned out he was the first person I greeted. I fainted!
Aye le o, ibosi oooo. Sitting behind a white machine and neatly doing justice to a colorful Ankara fabric is my tailor, or my ex-tailor, wait I will still use him, my tailor. My tailor, my chocolatey pint-sized cute looking tailor, my definition of dark, handsome minus tall. My tailor has turned to Casper the friendly ghost! He smiled meekly like he does and I suspected they were trying to pull a fast one on me. I smiled and asked of him again, that was how he interrupted his apprentice who was about to answer
“You are funny o, is it because we ruined your dress the other time”
Ha! It was him, it is his voice, he is the one! Chisos is Lord. I managed to look calm even though I was confused and a million questions was zigzagging through my head at the same darn time. Oga tailor what have you done to yourself?! His nose that I used to think was cute was looking much bigger, his eyes, his super faaaaahn eyes looked sunken and his lips? As black as dodo that was maliciously fried!
What happened? What manner of sorcery did his rivals in the business of tailoring do to him? Whoever prepared the juju that made him switch from his beautiful melanin popping colour like a confused chameleon? His face is white as if he rubbed my great aunty’s legendary Shirley facial cream on it, his legs? Black and total contrast to his face, his neck? As red as the tin of tin tomato. To say I was bewildered was an understatement, I was disgusted too!
He reminds me of a woman we used to call Mama Pancake then, this woman has bleached her future along with her skin, in fact her skin is three hundred steps into the future while she is still struggling to keep up, Mama Pancake in the bid to cover up her sun burnt face like that of a burnt boli will smear tons of pancake on her face, Mama Pancake will strut out like an Ostrich in her full glory in the evening, she seldom goes out in the afternoon for fear of melting like cheap wax, she would throw her colourful veil around her shoulders from time to time, and if she stays in the sun for long, the pancake mixture will slide down her face to her neck revealing a kaleidoscope of green, red, pink, indigo maroon and whatever colour you can think of.
Brethren and “sistrens” in this senseless fellowship we call life, what is the craze for fairer skin when we have dark-skinned beauties like Chimamanda Adichie, Lupita Nyong’o, Iman, representing Africa, Africaness and doing well for themselves? Why have some African men and women resorted to dangerous and highly toxic creams in order to be fair? Bleaching creams were created to correct skin disorders and that is what some people carry on their heads? You were born black and will forever be black, even if you mix acid with your creams, trust me no European will ever mistake you for a fellow European, your blackness will be screaming like a baby hungry for it mother’s milk! It would be seen through your dark knuckles waving for attention or the crisscross veins on your neck and arms that describes your transformation from Human to living Zombie.
I have witnessed people expressing disgust at the sight of people who bleach,they have this out of the world look,they look like errant deportees from planet Mercury, they crave for beauty but look like an old demented Chimpanzee who just got a makeover instead, the heat and the blazing sun further reveals their open secret with the redness of their face and neck that makes you cringe.
BUT I don’t blame them, the pressure from a fraction of the society has made people feel inferior in their own skin, even though Africa is the “blackest” race on earth, we pay more attention to half castes and people with fairer skin, men worship them more, they spend millions in their hormonic bid to eat fairer “oranges”, forget tall, dark and handsome some women also prefer boda yellow to boda Duduyemi.
Musical videos will show you videos of mulattos and fair skin girls trampling around half-naked, aside exploiting the beauty of women, they also erroneously give teenage girls and boys the idea of what real beauty is, this is the reason why skin lightning creams are still selling like hot cake in Africa.
I pity our generation and the next,they now have a distorted image of what is and what is not,we now have walking human rainbows amongst us. Skins looking like water colour experiments, knuckles that look like failed tie and dye project. Why?
Don’t you think it is high time this bleaching cream nonsense is wiped out or it wipes our “blackness” off existence!