How White Jesus and Black Satan have promoted skin bleaching among some Afrikans

Black African women --Image source:

People run away from various situations and circumstances every now and then; a viable ‘flight’ option that compensates for their inability to put up a ‘fight’ and that is okay. But what do we do in a situation where we are the objects of our own scare? How does one run away from one’s self?

The most probable time-proof choice for this paradox of a situation involves a total change over from one’s original physical appearance to a more emotionally soothing appearance; one that agrees with the mind’s concluded solution for the situation in question. But isn’t the restlessness of the mind the object of cause given the situation at hand?

On Wednesday, July 11TH, 2018, John Paul Sunico published an article in The Christian Post entitled; More Christians Now Live in Africa Than in Any Other Part of the World. The article reports that Africa holds a respectable 631 million Christians, making up about 45 per cent of the continent’s population. The writer goes on to reveal how the number of Christians in any other continent falls short of the number of Christians in Africa.

Jesus The Christ and his nemesis; Satan ‘The Black’ are two arch characters of the Christian Bible. The former is usually painted as white, holy and benevolent in description whiles the latter suffers a portrayal in dark, demonic and possessive themes within the arena of conventional Christian doctrine.

The chief distinction between the modern-day Christianized white Jesus and black Satan serves as a considerable basis upon which the modern-day Afrikan Christian formulates his/her notion of good and bad, and of right and wrong. Afrikan Christians of the twenty-first century strive to model their way of life after the biblical character of Jesus The Christ, simultaneously making efforts to avoid thoughts and deeds that are ‘Satanic’ in nature; at least on the social level of things one should say, for people do what they want in the comfort of their ‘privacy’ anyways.

These notwithstanding, the modern-day Afrikan Christian whose life and living are accorded meaning by the doctrines inherent in the Christian doctrine of which Jesus The Christ stands as the chief protagonist is inspired to not only model his/her way of living in accordance with ‘Him’ but to look like him as well.

What does it feel like to the modern-day Afrikan Christian who goes about his/her daily duties knowing s/he shares a common physical appearance with Satan ‘The Black’; the chief arch enemy of the ‘saviour’ Jesus The Christ? And though the modern-day Afrikan Christian is encouraged within church premises teeming with large-framed pictures of white Jesus in the knowledge that; Jesus’s love for his ‘children’ is unconditional, what solution of a sermon is given to reconcile the striking difference in the physical appearance of the modern-day Afrikan Christian and the popular white-washed pictures of the acclaimed ‘saviour’ named Jesus The Christ?

According to Pumza Fihlani in her article; ‘Africa: Where Black is Not Really Beautiful’, published on the 1ST of January, 2013, BBC News, Johannesburg; 77% of Nigerians use skin bleaching products on regular basis, 59% of Togolese women follow suit, followed by 35% of South African women and 25% of Malian women. And though this statistical data is not conclusive given the actual data concerning the number of African women who make regular use of skin bleaching cosmetic products, it provides a respectable window through which investigators can view the skin damaging, melanin killing pandemic rapidly sweeping over the continent.

A local South African musician named; Nomasonto ‘Mshoza’ Mnisi who also doubles as a volunteer interviewee for Fihlani’s BBC article submitted that; “Yes, part of it is self-esteem issue, I have addressed that and I am happy now. I am not white inside, I am not really fluent in English, I have black kids. I am a township girl; I have just changed the way I look on the outside.” But why change the look on the outside, retaining its equivalent ideological footprints on the inside?

It stands to reason that the modern-day African Christian bleaches his/her skin in an unconscious effort to bring him/her closer to the ‘image’ of Jesus The Christ. For even the psychological concept called ‘Self-esteem’ and its variations carry in them pregnant causes whose roots lie deep in the mind of the person or persons in question. The white ‘image’ of Jesus The Christ is also strongly associated with the white colonizers of the African continent whose colonial philosophies, ideologies and activities most probably drew their power from the white ‘image’ of Jesus The Christ; the Christianized ‘ saviour’ of the world and son of the highest God.

A brief documentary on the horrors of skin bleaching.
Video credit: YouTube.

Thus, in the past and present socio-cultural atmosphere of the modern-day Afrikan, there exist cues present in his/her environment pointing unreservedly to the supremacy of the light shaded complexion over the darker complexion; the melanin-filled complexion indigenous to the African skin. So there exist deep within the mind of modern-day Africans who employ skin bleaching cosmetic products a steep struggle between notions of an inferior melanated skin and those of a perceived superior light skin; a struggle necessitated by the mere absence of an informed Afrocentric education and a personal commitment to the esteem-building discipline of self-love.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: July 9, 2019


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