South Sudan’s Women: Be happy With Your Skin Color!
By: Luk Kuth Dak – U.S.A.
After more than half a century long of the Northern Arab’s brutal occupation of the South Sudan, their bigoted theories and radical ideas, that being black meant being ugly, primitive, slave, poor and less of a human being. In schools, we were constantly taught that being an Arab and a light-skinned are all associated with beauty, dignity, wellness, prosperity and above all, supremacy.
Unfortunately, those racist policies are finally taking toll on some of the wickets and light-minded individuals in South Sudan, not to mention the other marginalized areas.
As a result, some of the most important values, cultures, costumes and most disturbingly the way of thinking and self-esteem, that were once held dearly and tidily by all of the tribes, have all plummeted to a higher scale, that some of our young women, girls and maybe even some young men are shamelessly and outrageously using products to lighten their skin tone, thereby putting themselves at a higher risk of some endless health problems.
Now, when one looks at some Southern women’s photos on the face book, or on social events, all you see are these weird-looking light-skinned women with dark lips, dark fingers, dark knees, dark elbows - even darker husbands and children, whom they surround themselves with that an on-looker would simply assume, rightly so, that those women do actually come from another planet!!
I know this isn’t going to please some of our brothers and sisters, but, if a black man finds himself attracted to a woman who bleaches herself, that man is equally suffering from the disease called “ inferiority complex and low self-esteem.”
Because, for one thing, both of them would be directly or indirectly sending a terrible message, not only in damaging the image of the people of South Sudan at large, but most disturbingly, to the very people they love the most- their own children and grand-children!
The truth of the matter is, when we were growing up in Nasir and its surroundings, anyone in my generation will testify for the fact that, being a light skinned person at that time was a taboo. In most cases, even some courtships, which were otherwise solid and committed, ended up in bitter divorces ( a rarity in Nuer community), if a wife gave birth to a healthy, but a light-skinned baby.
Additionally, the light-skinned children were also victims of something they had no control over it. They were being subjected to all sorts of name-calling, both in the streets and schools, so much so that some of those innocent kids didn’t do well in their studies, and some ultimately quit the school, in order to avoid the harsh treatment.
I know there are some folks who might say that the government of South Sudan should put an end to the import of those venoms, however, in any democratic system, where civil liberties are supposed to be protected, there is really very little the government can do to fight this unfortunate behavioral conduct. And so the responsibility rests on the shoulders of our news media, who must now play a pivotal role in educating our communities, and yes, our young girls, of the eminent dangers that come along with skin bleaching.
Now, let me share this valuable research results with you: Recently, a research found that “ some skin-lighting creams contain hydroquinone, a bleaching agent that suppresses the production of melanin, thus reducing the skin’s natural protection against damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation Hydroquinone penetrates the skin and may cause irreversible damage to connective tissues. A result is premature aging. The chemicals may also be cancer-causing. Other creams contain MERCURY, which is another toxic.”
“ Further more, the study went on, continuous use of such products can cause disfiguring rashes, unsightly blotches, and skin so weakened that it cannot be stitched if cut. And if the chemicals in some of these cosmetics are absorbed into the bloodstream, they damage the liver, the kidneys, or the brain- even causing organ failure.”
So there you have it!
The author is a Sudanese journalist and former anchorman at Juba Radio. Please e-mail me at: [email protected]