Skin bleaching – a beast hunting African beauty


Dear sister Sarah,

Naïve. Reticent – or African chocolate. This is precisely how I remember you Sarah – 20 years before. As children we teased you for your skin shade. Then, it was glistening – courtesy of the Vaseline brand trendy in our era. Most of all, it was natural.  

‘Charcoal’ was a moniker bestowed upon your guiltless spirit. We presumed it was a pastime disregarding it was everlasting. After a decade – we separated. At college, you sampled cocoa butter cream – your hair retired from the hot stretching comb. Then, one day you met a boy and the shift to dark and lovely commenced – a hair ointment popularised nowadays. And when you were rewarded with a scholarship, the heavens had opened – Africa could have unveiled its original version of Lupita Nyong’o, in advance. Thereafter, we never met – but I credit social media – we became linked.  

Browsing through your picture portfolio – I could not cease to wonder what had struck you. You evolved from African toffee dark to pallid peach – if I may say. I felt the transformation. This is not the Sarah I knew. Not that I was invidious of your amendment – it was sudden that it brought darkness. Then – the axiom ‘she is using…’ reached my ears. It means one is applying and addicted to skin lightening. Has this also invaded your makeup table – sister Sarah in search of beauty? But will it not evolve into a beast devouring your skin, health and all.

Finally, I discovered it albeit belatedly. Even some relatives are engaged – my sister. I was in the dark. Then I pondered. Sarah, were you affected or infected by what we labelled you that made you to eradicate the confidence God invested in you. I sincerely regret if my mocking became part of your decision – Sarah, my home girl. 

Gradually – you have become a Caucasian in disguise. After your edification and exposure, why opt to become a beauty with a beast future? If education failed to persuade you – then how did bleaching creams succeed?  

Your intelligence must have trained Africa of her original splendour – and it emanates from within, not the exterior. If you could peddle your uniqueness to a cream, I shudder to know what an uneducated lady in remote areas would react. Has freedom overburdened you that you discount your wellbeing? Who has invented the phrase that relegates blackness even it means erasing your identify – assuming fake coating to please the mirror. And even if it means staying in the surgery for eternity – they can sacrifice.

I shall not dispute your rights – since you are a lawyer, you know best. But also, the best doctors succumb to HIV and AIDS. Your intellect and ordinary beauty will take you places even among strangers and not your borrowed identity – dearest Sarah. Sarah, your rights are writing your own obituary. Sarah, my dear – I know you are too busy to read my post but I trust someone does – hopefully not your hubby for he might be an accomplice. Anyway, I prefer the original Sarah. By the way, do you still remember Joyce – yes that one? She is now in a victim, she was also ‘using…’

PS: Vaseline is still available. If you care Sarah, I can send you a jar. 

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