“Hey Blackie!” This line, I’m sure, most dark skinned people are familiar with.

You are called that once you have a very dark skin amidst lighter people though your name may be known or unknown.

I once read a tweet a few years back and it goes thus…

“In the future, we may have to go to Museums to see what a black woman once looked like”.

A funny message there and perhaps a little extreme but, with a lot of things I’ve seen, heard and read about recently, I can’t help but wonder what the future holds for our precious black skin.

Colourism is something that isn’t often talked about. It gives privileges to those with lighter skin and deprives those with darker skin shades.

Colourism can be described as discrimination based on skin colour especially from members of the same race.

Colourism has pushed people into doing a lot of things in order to achieve a lighter skin colour. Sometimes, people are refused certain jobs as a result of this.

The entertainment industry is a good example of where colourism thrives. I’ve seen actresses whose acting skills were obviously very horrible but got featured in more movies than dark skinned actresses with better skills.

Moving on to video vixens, same thing is prevalent. There existed a period where most music videos featured light skinned South African girls. Also, Models chosen for the advertisements of certain beauty products were mostly light skinned.

So, when we see a lot of people with bleached skin today, we can’t really blame them, because, we don’t know how much of a struggle it was for them dealing with colourism, not everyone is as strong.

Even in some homes, some mothers who happen to be light skinned use lightening creams or soaps for their children.

I think it’s rather important that whoever reads this is aware that colourism is real and if you do discriminate amongst people based on the colour of their skin, you are definitely one of the reasons why bleaching gets worse daily.

Also as Uncles, Aunties, Parents and friends, when we jokingly make fun of little kids under the guise of “harmless jokes” because of how dark that child might be we just might be having an impact on the self-esteem of those children.

Such comments can have an impact on the child’s self-esteem, the child may grow up not feeling very comfortable in their own skin.

Let’s remind kids of how beautiful they are irrespective of their skin colour, Light skinned or dark skinned.

That way we build a society where everyone is comfortable with and proud of their skin tone.

Have a fabulous weekend!!

Jubril Munira