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I've seen the privilege that light skin has accorded others – Yvonne Okwara on challenges dark skin women face in the media industry

We have to work twice as hard - Okwara

Citizen TV's Yvonne Okwara Matole

Citizen TV news anchor Yvonne Okwara has opened up on challenges dark skinned women face in the media industry.

In a post seen by Pulse Live, Ms. Okwara mentioned that it has not been easy for her as an individual and she has seen the privilege that light skin has given others.

Okwara said that she has seen some light skinned women get away with murder when for her, it was expected she be smarter because she didn't have the looks and had to use her brain, which according to her is exhausting and needs to change.


The Citizen TV news anchor’s words came as she weighed in on the issue of colourism in Kenya as the world discussed the issue of Black Lives Matter.

She pointed out that being light skinned has been interpreted as beauty, opportunity, work, wealth, good marriage and beautiful children, adding that this is one of the attitudes that needs to change before we begin standing up for black lives matter.

Here’s her post;

We are all talking about black lives matter. But we also need to reflect on our own culture in this part of the world. Colourism. Darker skinned girls and women are treated differently. We have to work twice as hard, be twice as smart to get ahead, because, what else do we have going for us, right? Because, inadvertently or otherwise this is the standard that has been set: light skin= beauty= opportunity= work = wealth= good marriage = beautiful children It is these attitudes that have fueled the skin lightening industry , where girls just get tired of fighting the stereotype, of proving themselves, of starting from a disadvantaged position, and so give in to the craze.


We may all like to focus elsewhere, but charity begins at home. Before you stand up for the BLM movement, before you judge men and women for lightening their skin, telling them to love their skin, why not examine what got us here and how we got here? On a personal note, it's not been easy for me. Especially in this industry, I've seen the privilege that light skin has accorded others. I've seen them get away with murder, when I've been held to a higher standard. I've been expected to be smarter because, "you don't have the looks so you've got to use your brain instead" It hasn't been easy, It's exhausting at times, but it's also rewarding. But it needs to change.”


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