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If you thought the skin-lightening thing that was all the rage a few years ago among blacks in the Caribbean was a fad, wait till you see what’s happening in Africa. In particular, South Africa.

When we think of South Africa, we can’t help but the think of Nelson Mandela and black people who are proud to be … black! But would you believe that for some black South Africans there is such a thing as being too black.

A recent study by the University of Cape Town hints that one woman in three in South Africa bleaches her skin. The reasons for this are as varied as the cultures in the country but most people say they use skin-lighteners because they want “white skin,” reports the BBC.

One such woman is musician Nomasonto “Mshoza” Mnisi. Now several shades lighter, she says her new skin makes her feel more beautiful and confident.

She has been widely criticized in the local media and social networking sites for her appearance but the 30-year-old says skin-bleaching is a personal choice, no different from breast implants or a having nose job.

“I’ve been black and dark-skinned for many years, I wanted to see the other side. I wanted to see what it would be like to be white and I’m happy,” she says candidly.

Over the past couple of years Ms Mnisi has had several treatments. Each session can cost around 5,000 rand (£360; $590), she tells the BBC.

Unlike many in the country, she uses high-end products which are believed to be safer than the creams sold on the black market but they are by no means risk-free, doctors say.  Costly beauty

Ms Mnisi says she does not understand the criticism about her new appearance.

“Yes, part of it is a self-esteem issue and I have addressed that and I am happy now. I’m not white inside, I’m not really fluent in English, I have black kids. I’m a township girl, I’ve just changed the way I look on the outside,” she says.

The dangers associated with the use of some of these creams include blood cancers such as leukaemia and cancers of the liver and kidneys, as well as a severe skin condition called ochronosis, a form of hyper-pigmentation which causes the skin to turn a dark purple shade, according to senior researcher at the University of Cape Town, Dr Lester Davids.

“Very few people in South Africa and Africa know the concentration of the toxic compounds that are contained in the products on the black market and that is concerning. We need to do more to educate people about these dangerous products,” says Dr Davids.

But skin-lightening is not just a fascination and obsession of women, the BBC report says. Congolese hair stylist Jackson Marcelle says he has been using special injections to bleach his skin for the past 10 years. Each injection lasts for six months.

“I pray every day and I ask God, ‘God why did you make me black?’ I don’t like being black. I don’t like black skin,” he says.

Skin lightening creams in a market in Yeoville, Johannesburg Skin lightening creams are popular in many parts of Africa

Mr Marcelle – known as Africa’s Michael Jackson – says his mother used to apply creams on him when he was young in order to make him appear “less black.”

“I like white people. Black people are seen as dangerous; that’s why I don’t like being black. People treat me better now because I look like I’m white,” he adds.

(Photo: EURweb)

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15 thoughts on “In Africa, Being Black is NOT Seen as Being Beautiful: White Skin is In

  1. God don’t make junk. The only thing that is wrong with the human body is the human mind. If it is not broken why is there a need to fix it. I know that some people have real problems that sometimes need medical attention. Some people are so vain and shallow.

  2. D'Carlo on said:

    See how a story like this pulls out all the racist from the woodwork. Although I don’t agree with her decision this is a decision that is hers to make. It isn’t harming anyone. I prefer my women dark. I have a friend who likes his women very large. What makes one person happy that doesn’t affect someone else is a non issue. She is correct when she says it is no different than breast implants. I dont agree with those either. Or peircing or our youth showing their asses in public just like the inmates would do to advertise prositution in jail.
    Some here worship thier black skin more than they do God. My advise for you is to find Christ and improve yourself.

  3. the ignorance of some black people who claim to believe in God even amazes me. The devil through white people have managed to spread white superiority around the world even to a continent i.e. Africa where they surely should be proud of the heritage. So confused black people throughout the western world can say even blacks in Africa hate their black skin and wooly hair.

  4. Amber3 on said:

    sad. And we wonder why blacks still have issues with white issues. We are often the ones who get degraded and looked down on.

  5. So Nomasonto “Mshoza” Minisi says her new skin makes her “feel more beautiful and confident”. Let’s see this is January, now if were to revisit girlfriend in July what would be the odds of her having a narrower nose and thin lips? Possibly a reduced posterior? Why go just half-way with the skin cream? Perhaps in South Africa there are no “impressionable teenage girls who just can’t to copy Nomasonto but that would be wishful thinking. I have to wonder how her black kids explain their mother’s chalky white appearance. Maybe they say she like to take a lot of milk baths. As for Jackson Marcelle, he seriously needs a therapist.

  6. You’ve gotta be kidding me. Cant believe the words that are coming out of their sick mouth. If I died today or tomorrow, I would come back black with my kinky hair. No changes

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