In march, Nyakim Gatwech made headlines after revealing that an Uber driver asked her if she would bleach her skin for $10,000. She simply laughed it off. However, it is not just a funny story because it is a representation of how the outside world and even Africans view dark skin. It is seen as something to be ashamed of, it is ‘unpolished’ according to some and to a lot of people it is unattractive. Things are beginning to change today as melanin in all its shades and glory is being celebrated and promoted by a class of women who are teaching the next generation of Africans to embrace the beauty in their skin.
Nyakim Gatwech is a 24-year-old Sudanese model and she is referred to as the ‘Queen of the dark’. You will fall in love reading the captions on her Instagram page (@queenkim_nyakim) and I would like to share some of them.
South Sudan. A country with so people so dark you won’t believe your eyes… skin so rich and teeth so bright… why on earth would I ever bleach this beautiful melanin God blessed me with
Black is not a color of sadness or death or evil, it’s just the way it has been portrayed for so many years. So I am the queen of the dark who brings light and love to those around me.
We’ve come a long way but we still have a long way to go. My hope is that this post reminds you every day of why you should be proud of your melanin. Why you should be proud of your heritage regardless of how light or dark your skin is. Stop comparing your skin to anyone. Change can only happen once you can truthfully look in the mirror and love that Deep chocolate, Cinnamon, Mocha, or caramel complexion.
Nyakim Gatwech is not just a pretty face with great skin and a ton of followers on social media. She is a representation of a generation of Africans finding the self-love and self-esteem that evaded our forefathers in the midst of oppression and discrimination. She is an inspiration to black people everywhere, especially young black girls who are told they are not beautiful unless they meet ridiculous standards. The road to Africa’s prosperity begins with us seeing the positives, embracing them and celebrating them.