Popular

This Nivea Ad Promising "Visibly Lighter Skin" Is Reigniting a Conversation About Skin Bleaching On the Continent

Nivea has come under fire for an advertisement promoting skin lightening, but the incident also opens up a broader discussion about marketing trends and consumer demand on the continent.

German-owned skincare brand, Nivea, is facing intense backlash over an ad promising "visibly lighter skin" with the use of their moisturizer.


The company released a television advert for their "natural fairness" product, which features former Miss Nigeria Omowunmi Akinnifesi applying the cream. Her skin instantly appears lighter once the moisturizer is applied.

The product is being promoted with billboards across Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon, with the slogan "for visibly fairer skin."

While the issue of skin lightening on the continent is a complex, and sometimes psychological one—with roots largely stemming from colonialism—it's offensive, to say the least, that Nivea would assume that Africans would be collectively heedless to the racism and self-hate which the ad promotes.

A number of folks have criticized the ad on Twitter, reprehending Nivea and calling out a widely irresponsible beauty industry which continues to push harmful skin products to Africans.

There's also a discussion taking place around the demand for such products on the continent, and how advertising often caters to what companies believe is "trendy" in specific localities.

As we all know, this conversation is not at all new. The same companies which sell skin bleaching products across Africa and Asia are the same ones boosting messages of self-acceptance to consumers in North America—both in attempt to capitalize off perceived consumer trends.

But we aren't all as oblivious to their bullshit as they'd like to think. More and more, we see people taking a stand against such patronizing messaging both on and off the continent.

Check out the video below via, AJ+ to see how women in Ghana are fighting skin bleaching.

News Brief
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Warner Music)

Burna Boy Set to Perform at the Grammys 2021 Premiere Ceremony

The Nigerian star is nominated in the Best Global Music category.

The African giant Burna Boy will perform at the 2021 Grammy pre-show which will be livestreamed on GRAMMY.com at 3 p.m. EST on March 14.

The premiere ceremony will be hosted by Jhene Aiko. It will kick off with an ensemble of previous Grammy nominees including Gregory Porter, Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, Regina Carter, and Kamasi Washington performing "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)" in tribute to the late legend Marvin Gaye.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics

#LGBTRightsGhana: Ghanaians Rally Support For the LGBT+ Community

Pro-LGBT+ advocacy in Ghana is at an all-time high as members of the community face public backlash.

The LGBT+ community in the West African country of Ghana is a fast growing group, but they are also highly marginalized. In recent times, the nation's LGBT+ population has faced increased backlash from members of Ghana's society who are opposed to the rights of the community. Many members of the community are forced to live secret or suppressed lives, as those who are open about their sexuality face discrimination and oppression in various forms and degrees, as a result of living in a society that lacks progressiveness and regard for basic human rights for all individuals regardless of sexual orientation.

At the moment both the backlash and the advocacy for the cause is currently at a climax, sparked by recent events concerning Ghana's LGBT+ support group and the public opposition against it by Ghana's society and the nation's government. Ghana's official LGBT+ support group, called LGBT+ Rights Ghana, established their headquarters in Accra on January 31, 2021. The office was intended to be a safe space and avenue of support for all LGBT+ Ghanaians. On February 24, 2021. the office was shut down by members of Ghana's national security force together with the police, on orders issued by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, after the center became the subject of a furious public backlash.

Keep reading... Show less
Image courtesy of artist.

Interview: In The Beginning Was Manana

Manana on his debut album 'In The Beginning Was The End', a relatable love story narrated backwards.

Ndumiso Manana had just purchased a microphone to complete his home studio setup when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a hard lockdown in 2020.

Unable to tour with his Seba Kaapstad family due to travel restrictions implemented as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, he did what many musicians in his circles, and around the world, were doing: he diverted his attention to something else.

In his case, the diversion led to one of 2020's most beguiling releases, In The Beginning Was The End, an album so perfect, so polished yet raw; so whole yet sparse; so sophisticated yet, strangely, relatable.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Several Cultural Figures Sign Petition Supporting Ghana's LGBT Community

Naomi Campbell, Idris Elba, Edward Enninful and several others have signed a petition calling on Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo to support and protect the LGBT community which is under continued targeting.