Popular

Blac Chyna Launching Her Collab Line with Dencia of 'Whitenicious' Revives Outrage Over Skin Bleaching

And rightfully so.

Blac Chyna has announced that she's heading to Lagos in about a week to launch her product in collaboration with Cameroonian singer DenciaWhitenicious x Blac Chyna Diamond Illuminating & Lightening Cream—and the internet has been on fire since.

Although the controversy surrounding Dencia and her brand Whitenicious has been on everyone's radar for over 4 years now, the outrage surrounding this new money bag venture for both ladies (each jar costs $250 according to TMZ) isn't surprising, but disheartening.

This launch is an ironic full-circle moment—a black woman heads to an African country to celebrate and promote a product that epitomizes self-hate and health risks—all for a chance to cash in on a multibillion-dollar industry.


Skin bleaching, or skin whitening, is a phenomena that stems from the impact colonialism had not just on the African continent, but also in the Caribbean and Asia. The colonial powers were adamant on stripping our countries of our resources, but also stripping our pride as a people by equating social status and social mobility to how light (rather, white) one's skin is. Even until today, these skin lightening brands still advertise and capitalize on the colorism dynamic and inherited low self-esteem.

Along with the social implications of skin bleaching, there are literal health risks that are hard to ignore. The New York Times reminds us that about 70 percent of women in West Africa use these products and according to the World Health Organization, 77 percent of Nigerian women use some form of skin bleaching products on a daily basis.

Back in August 2016, Ghana's Food and Drug Authority placed a ban on skin bleaching products that include hydroquinone—an ingredient that stops the production of melanin that protects the skin from the sun. Despite this, there are still concerns of an increase in skin cancer because of the lack of melanin skin bleachers have.

Dencia has taken to Twitter and Instagram to defend her product, stating that Whitenicious does not have hydroquinone as an active ingredient and is FDA-compliant (although what makes a product compliant to the FDA is a gray area in of itself, but that's another conversation for another day).


In the same vain, she proceeds to gaslight critics and even threatens to sue for defamation.

But we need to call a spade a spade—and even revisit Dencia's original Whitenicious ad compared to what she used to look like.

Abeg, how can the skin that covers one's whole body be covered in 'dark spots?' Nigerians on social media have been similarly scratching their heads in bewilderment, including Burna Boy on his Instagram Stories.

"Anybody who attends this rubbish might as well commit suicide. Blacc Chyna please don't come to my Home and sell your Poison. Because the thunder that will fire you is wearing that big Balenciaga trainers," he says. "Ladies, your black is beautiful!"

Nigerian-American beauty guru and YouTuber Jackie Aina and Ghanaian-British artist FuseODG resound along as well.


Nigerian-British actor and fitness instructor Kelechi Okafor's thread adds context to the conversation—emphasizing the big picture of this move.

"If white supremacist patriarchal ideologies weren't so successful we wouldn't have the constant aspiration to be as closely linked aesthetically to whiteness," Okafor says. "I aim not to shame those who bleach but rather those who are complicit in marketing it."

Words mean things and we weren't born with two heads. To say that a product "lightens," "brightens" and "illuminates" is a slick way of coercing women to use risky products that will slowly destroy their skin and put their health at risk. Hyperpigmentation is indeed a struggle many black women face, but it should be solved by a dermatologist that specializes in treating dark skin, not by a quick fix in a jar.

News Brief
Photo by ER Lombard/Gallo Images via Getty Images.

COVID-19 Cases Surge To Five Million In Africa

As the world approaches a post-pandemic era, South Africa, Kenya, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Ethiopia and Egypt top the list of countries contributing to Africa's alarming five million COVID-19 cases.

Africa has reportedly reached a highly concerning number of COVID-19 cases. Recent statistics show that over five million Africans have contracted the coronavirus since its discovery in 2019. These numbers are alarming despite Africa's large population of over 1.2 billion, marking a reported increase of 16 percent in death rates. South Africa, which is officially in a third wave, leads the numbers and accounts for almost half of the deaths across the continent. On the contrary, cases globally have been declining for the sixth consecutive week.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Photo by Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images.

African Diplomats Kicked Out Of South Africa For Selling Booze Illegally

So far, Lesotho and Malawi diplomats were expelled after South African officials discovered that they had been involved in illicit alcohol trading.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of South Africa recently informed the Kingdom of Lesotho and Malawi that a number of its diplomats and their dependants were caught abusing their diplomatic privileges. The announcement also included the fact that the diplomats involved in this alcohol scandal have been declared Persona Non Grata in the Republic of South Africa and given three days to leave the country with their families.

Widespread media reports divulged how Lesotho and Malawi diplomats have been smuggling alcohol into South Africa without paying duty, and reselling it at local bars and restaurants. It is expected that over 200 diplomats from other countries accused of the same crime will also be kicked out in the coming weeks.

In response to the news, the Lesotho Ministry of International Relations announced that it condemned the actions of the diplomats, and was disappointed in the activities of its officers. It further stated that disciplinary action would follow once the officers returned to Lesotho.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief

Watch Blxckie and Nasty C’s Music Video For ‘Ye x4’

Blxckie and Nasty C take over infamous Joburg inner city building Ponte in new striking visuals for 'Ye x4'.

Blxckie has finally released the visuals for "Ye x4", one of the hottest South African hip-hop songs currently. "Ye x4" is a watershed moment—Nasty C, a Durban native, jumps on a song with a rapper from his city whose rise was as ferocious and rapid as his.

For the song's visuals, Blxckie finds himself in what was once one of his wildest dream. He and Nasty C perform "Ye x4" at the basement of Ponte, an infamous residential building in Hillbrow, which is a huge part of the Joburg skyline with its animated Vodacom branding visible from any angle of the tower.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Nana Mensah's 'Queen of Glory' To Screen At The 2021 TriBeCa Film Festival

Ghanaian-American actress, writer and filmmaker Nana Mensah talks tenacity in filmmaking and telling immigrant stories from a joyful perspective.