Writer: Ogwang

It’s melanin versus mindset, colonial era and other causes.

Though the skin bleaching industry records abnormal profits from different clients, it’s coming with long and short term shortcomings on the clients using products that enable one to lighten their skin black pigments which is a mixed feeling depending on how one perceives it.

What brought on the bleaching campaign?

Some may think it’s for today but history indicates this bleaching has its roots in the ancient times of 1500s in Asia, during the Greece and roman empire era then it sprung up in Americas after being imported by the European master and it was highly used by the queen of England Elizabeth I.

Now back to our topic: why skin lightening or bleaching is now rampant in Africa but let us focus on our beloved motherland Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. It’s true everyone wants to look beautiful regardless of whether male or female. Some people use these lightening products to look beautiful because their mindset triggers them to think a lighter shade of brown or lightened person is beautiful which is true and sometimes false depending on how one views beauty.

As one American doctor said, “A woman’s face is her fortune.” Some women think that if they bleach there are incentives attached to it especially in some professional jobs and not just societal perception. Some radios and television stations take this as a first priority especially for female sex who may work on certain talks or entertainment programs and news anchoring. So, this will make one who is pursuing a career in journalism to consider bleaching in order to improve his/her chances in the profession.

And besides there is also a healthy reason for some people to bleach especially when it comes to patching the skin tone of vitiligo patients since it’s a skin a condition. Some of the patients of vitiligo will be advised to take up some bleaching in order to lighten their skins. Vitiligo is a skin condition caused by change in the genetic complex of an individual, you will notice the patients having mike burns on the skin and other people may say that “abalongo mbamwokya” yet it is not the case. So for medical reasons I will partially agree with it.

Societal changes have made some people look down on themselves as unworthy because of the melanin complexity of their skin, where one person will be called all sorts of names just because he or she is black or dark skinned. This alone may trigger one to bleach in order to fit in a given society. Take for example our beloved socialite “Bad Black” and many others. But this still was witnessed in the colonial era or slave eras where slave masters had a bad view on black slaves, so the light skinned slaves were subjected to indoors works while the darker slaves were subjected to the harsh or scorching conditions in the plantation in the Americas.

That being said, I just want to ask this one thing, do you love your dark skin or the melanin skin? Dark skin is not a curse but rather a blessing to those who think they are black. Being dark skinned has its own advantages, you should embrace them.

When bleaching is done unprofessionally, like the use of bleaching products without consulting an expert, especially the physician who has better knowledge on bleaching, you put your health at risk. In some instances, the skin may patch up into different shades on the body, while others who are amateurs in bleaching will have only one part which is the face only bleached and the other rest of the body is darker. So before you decide to bleach, seek medical advice from health experts.

Please Note ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls we have to protect our brown skin. It is beautiful, the hidden treasure that God himself gave us. Let’s spread the word about melanin skins and it’s merits to our people and future generations to come. Being black is not a crime or curse rather bleach is a curse since it’s expensive both financially, emotionally and affects your general health.

Leah Grace Oketcho, is a highly talented Communication specialist, gifted in leadership with over 3 years of leadership and management experience at different levels. She is a team player and has demonstrated ability in mobilizing and organizing others to achieve desired goals. Oketcho is well vast in the art of creating alternatives for ways to get results. She has over the years grown in the art of corporate communications and also participated in the development of performance management materials for various professional institutions. Leah received training in research, scripting, international relations, and data analysis as well as public relations. She is passionate about solving public health related problems. She has offered training to youth in oral and written communication, people management and mentoring, editing and documentation skills, public speaking.


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