That Kiswahili words and phrases sometimes crop up in western pop culture is not surprising; it is, after all, the most widely spoken African language on the continent. But every so often its use leaves native speakers a little puzzled.
Something is terribly wrong when a Nigerian girl like myself grows up craving white Barbie dolls. Girls all over Africa crave the same today, and this far from harmless. Fortunately Nigerians are starting to produce dolls that look like us.
Skin-lightening/bleaching is a problem, but it’s only a sign of much deeper inter-related issues: self-hatred, a race-based identity crisis, and the internalisation of Western-created cultural ideas that are inimical to the mental health of black people.