A Nigerian’s campaign against skin bleaching
updated: Friday 13-06-2008
(L-R) Miss Tinuola Oginni, addressing
blacks resident in the United Kingdon
during one of her numerous campaigns
against skin bleaching.Assistant Editor, Jackson Udom, just back from London, writes on what Miss Tinuola Oginni, a London-based make-up artiste, is doing on the streets of London, with her solo crusade against bleaching by blacks resident in London and her plans to take the battle to her roots.
The bleaching culture crept into the consciousness of Nigerians several years ago, with little or nothing done to check its spread, which, surprisingly, cuts across virtually all sexes, class and groups.
Despite its grevious health consequences, Nigerians, particularly, the women and some men have turned deaf ear to the health implications of bleaching. But one Nigerian has decided to take the bull by the horn, and that person is London-based Miss Tinuola Oginni.
Nigerian Tribune encountered this amazon on the streets of London on three different occasions preaching against bleaching, and this caught the attention of this reporter, which led to the attempt at unravelling the reasons behind such a public crusade by a Nigerian against bleaching in a foreign land largely peopled by whites.
According to those who spoke with Nigerian Tribune on what they described as “the yeoman war against bleaching” by the London-trained make-up artist, “the crusade against bleaching has taken Tinu to virtually all the nooks and crannies of the United Kingdom. It is aimed at discouraging or completely eradicating the spirit of bleaching among Africans. She is more concerned about the health implications associated with bleaching and that is why she goes around the UK to let the people believe in the colour of their skin”.
Nigerian Tribune also gathered that she has also taken her crusade against bleaching to churches particularly those with predominantly African. It was further learnt that the crusade has, on a daily basis, been receiving the support of religious organisations.
In a chat with Nigerian Tribune at one of the venues of her anti-bleaching crusade, the make-up artiste said she was moved to preach against bleaching because of what she witnessed when her very close friend was to undergo an operation in the hospital.
“I am out on the streets against bleaching because of the experience I had when my very close friend was admitted for operation in an hospital. She did not survive the operation because she had been bleaching for over 15 years. According to the GP’s report after the operation, which was very successful, they found it difficult closing her up after the operation because her outerskin layer hadbeen destroyed due to long years of bleaching.
Because of that she died. It was a painful loss. In fact, I am yet to overcome that loss. That is just one out of very many tragedies occasioned by attempts by Africans to want to look like Europeans. They forget that God gave them that skin colour because of the weather and made the Europeans white because of their weather.”
She further said “black Africans still see bleaching as the in thing in town. I am yet to see any white man who wants to change his skin to black and that is why I have taken it upon myself to alert blacks on the dangers inherent in bleaching.”
On why she decided to carry out the campaign in London and not in Africa, the Osun State-born artiste said, “the war has to start from here because African’s resident here are largely influenced by what they see. They see the whites and they want to look like them in colour, forgetting about the health hazards associated with such things”
She however, assured that plans were underway to take the crusade against bleaching to Africa, saying, “I have Africa, the continent of the blacks, in mind. In the next couple of weeks I will move my campaign there because that is where we have the largest population of blacks, but as they say, charity begins at home. Nigeria, my country, will be my first port of call,”
According to Miss Oginni, “we will need the support of government, organisations, highly placed individuals for the success of the crusade and it is my prayer that at the end of the campaign against this social abnormality the blacks will come to the understanding of the dangers inherent in bleaching. There is dignity in the black colour because it is a special gift from God and any attempt to want to tamper with it is an indirect way of being ungrateful to God.”
© 2004 – 2008 African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc. Publishers of Nigerian Tribune, Saturday Tribune, Sunday Tribune.
All Rights Reserved