There are many black people who are uncomfortable with the black skin and go ahead to bleach it. Not Nyakim Gatwech a South Sudanese model based in the U.S. In one of her instagram posts she wrote:
South Sudan, a country with people so dark you won’t believe your eyes. . . Skin so rich and teeth so bright. Gosh how I love my country my people and everything that come with it…I was asked [by] my uber driver the other day he said, don’t take this offensive but if you were given 10 thousand dollars would you bleach your skin for that amount? I couldn’t even respond I started laughing so hard. Then he said so that a no and I was like hell to the f*king yeah that a no, why on earth would I ever bleach this beautiful melanin God bless with me. Then he said so you look at it as a blessing? I just . . . you won’t believe the kind of questions I get and the kind of looks I get for having this skin.
If the black skin is not a blessing, what else should it be? The 24- year- old model flaunts her skin and even quotes Marcus Garvey in one of her Instagram pictures, “the black skin is not a badge of shame but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.”
Gatwech who is a fan of Nigerian musician Mr Eazi tags herself as Queen of chocolate and encourages everyone to love who they are. In a recent Instagram post after her pictures went viral and was nicknamed Queen of the Dark she said, “o my new nickname is Queen of the Dark and I love it. I’m so thankful and grateful to all the amazing people showing me love and support and writing such powerful articles about me.. we are all beautiful in whatever shade of skin color God create us in. So why should the be dark bad? Embrace and love who you are and world would as well!!”
It’s interesting how no one complains of too much whiteness but everyone complains of too much melanin. Gatwech says, “They say to me “Nyakim are you really that black??” and I answer what on earth is “that black” black is black in whatever remarkable shade.” Her answer to every question on her skin colour shows someone who’s embraced her identity, and is proud of who she is.
Many South Sudanese are dark in complexion and were heavily victimized and marginalised by the Arab Sudanese. Despite the setback of two decades of civil war, many South Sudanese have gone ahead to be top models, basketball players and academics all over the world.
Gatwech’s messages of encouragement to dark skin ladies is to continue making an impact, “Let’s embrace the contrast of the dark skin against any other color, let’s embody our Sun-Kissed Melanin.”Sometimes she questions, “When you look into your reflection through the mirror what do you see? I hope you see nothing but how beautiful, smart, intelligent, outstanding, unique you are you!!”
Gatwech doesn’t stop here; she has a response to those asking her to bleach or wondering why she hasn’t bleached her skin, “When you’re comfortable with your skin! Show me a skin with no bleach and I’ll show you beauty.”