“Let us take another detour, this time to Africa of the 1960s, through the eyes of Okot p’Bitek and through his internationally recognised “Song of Lawino.” Let us visit with the Acholi of Uganda in East Africa. The central character is Lawino and she gives us a glimpse of a colonised mind in the form of her co-wife, a modern girl called Clementine. Lawino sings: “Brother, when you see Clementine! The beautiful one aspires to look like a white woman; her lips are red hot like glowing charcoal. She resembles the wild cat that has dipped its mouth in blood… Some medicine has eaten up Tina’s face. The skin on her face is gone and it’s all raw and red. And she believes that this is beautiful because it resembles the face of a white woman!”
Bleaching is a multi-billion dollar industry in Africa – companies of the global-west which make the bleaching creams are making a killing, pan intended. Apparently a bleaching dose costs at least UGX 400,000 (nearly 160 US dollars) to UGX 600,000 (approximately 238 US dollars), depending on the shade of ‘whiteness’ one wants to attain. This happening in a country where millions live below the poverty line, the mind boggles. According to medical experts, those who bleach are prone to cancer, liver problems and irreversible skin patches. Nevertheless, the skin bleaching business booms, despite there being an East African Act which prohibits importation of bleaching chemicals into the region.” Read more http://www.africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles.php?article=7730
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