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CITY GIRL: All women should be equal in the eyes of men

I heard an interesting conversation on radio one morning on my way to work. The conversation was on light-skinned women vis a vis the dark-skinned.

The male radio host was convinced that light-skinned women are the epitome of beauty.

Light-skinned women generally have it very easy in life, he said. They are more likely to get jobs and husbands faster than their dark-skin counterparts, he asserted.

Dark-skinned women on the other hand, he believes, are not very lucky in life. He hinted they needed to work twice hard to get noticed, and all the light-skinned women had to do was to just sit pretty and let things be done for them.

I have written about this before; this tussle of the beauty trophy between light-skinned women and dark-skinned women. From the look of things, it looks like the dark-skin team is fighting a losing battle and the light-skin girls are carrying the day.

There is a myth that light-skinned girls are prettier and better. Most men won’t admit this, but they subtly prefer light-skinned women to their dark-skinned counterparts.

In fact, men who bag a light-skinned girl consider that an achievement of sorts. Oh, and what do you know, I had dated this riff-raff once, who made it clear that he wanted ‘brown children,’ which of course, given my dark-skin automatically disqualified me from the race.


I am a dark-skinned girl and this issue of skin colour doesn’t really cross my mind. It hardly bothers me because from a young age, I grew up being told that I am ‘cute’ and recently, it has been claimed that I am ‘bootylicious’. So skin colour for me is the least of my concerns.

So why am I writing about skin colour, if it doesn’t bother me?

Well, for once, it has come to my realisation that there are some characters on social media and local media who are ostracising dark-skinned women on the basis of their skin colour.

Twitter is especially notorious for this, with lewd jokes, snide remarks and degrading comments being made about dark-skinned girls, while overly glorifying the light-skinned women.

When I started writing this column about five minutes ago, I was in a good mood. Now that I have gained momentum, I am typing away furiously, banging the keyboard like it stole something from me. Which only means one thing; my foul mood has kicked in. And you don’t want to be on my path when I am in ‘best’ mood.

This trolling of dark-skinned women on social media, blogs and local radio stations has gone too far. Maybe it is time to educate some of these asinine, semi-illiterate radio presenters and Twitter ‘big-wigs’ on some truths about skin colour.

You see, you may all prefer light-skinned women to dark-skinned, blackballing dark-skinned women for something that is beyond their control, but let me tell you one thing; we are all black people.


Light-skinned, chocolate, dark-skinned with our kinky hair and sizeable posteriors, we are all African. From Nubians, to Nigerians, Kenyans to Ethiopians and Somalis, we are all black. Africans.

In the eyes of the white man ‘mzungu’, we are all African. Black people. Former slaves of the colonial master. Descendants of Mau Mau freedom fighters. And because this is a personal space, I will say what many people are afraid to say.

Whether light-skinned or dark-skinned, we are all Africans and we are all on the receiving end of racism and racial profiling from some mzungus who don’t see light skin or dark skin, but only see ‘African’ and ‘Black’.

Whether light-skinned or dark-skinned, you will still be keenly monitored in a clothes store in Amsterdam because they think you will shoplift.

Whether light-skinned or dark-skinned, you will still be denied a Visa to the UK or the US because you look like a poor bloke looking for a better life in the UK.

Whether light-skinned or dark-skinned, you will still get poor service at local Chinese and Italian restaurants because you are African and because they think you cannot afford a meal at that restaurant in Westlands.

You will still get poor service at the Coast even if you are light-skinned. You will still earn less than that mzungu in your office, light-skinned or dark-skinned.


So dear radio presenter, Twitter big-wig, and the man who prefers light-skinned girls; grow up, get off your high horse boy and get your Nubian self some education. We are all African, here that? African. Black.

Treating light-skinned Africans better than the dark-skinned is just plain stupid. I am not using hard words today because I am mindful of your unschooled self.

By treating light-skinned women better than the dark-skinned,  you are undoing all great work done my grandfather and all the other Mau Mau freedom fighters who were disinherited, starved, tortured and sexually abused by the white colonial master for the sake of freedom.

Those men who prefer light-skinned women and treat dark-skinned women with vile and bile are like the collaborators and homeguards who betrayed their fellow countrymen for a piece of meat and a slice of bread.

Shame on you, Twitter big wigs and radio presenters who attempt to divide us Kenyan folk on basis of our skin colour.

Dedan Kimathi and my grandfather did not fight for you ignoramus bozos to sit there, behind that microphone and that computer to make stupid remarks about your fellow Africans.