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TV news anchor calls out colourism in Kenya

A Kenyan news anchor has highlighted the irony of Kenyans speaking up for the Black Lives Matter campaign while light-skinned women are given preferential treatment in the country.

Yvonne Okwara who is employed by Citizen TV said she was held to a higher standard than her colleagues because of her skin tone:

"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... It needs to change."

She said colourism had fuelled the skin-lightening industry as young women seek to fit in:

"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?"

Here is Ms Okwara's Instagram post:

View this post on Instagram

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. ???? @aggreyojiambo MUA @miss_onchangwa_makeup HAIR @boh_wigs_studio Styled by @that_samburu_chick

A post shared by Yvonne Okwara (@okwarayvonne) on

Source: bbc.com

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