Challenging The Negative Perception of Dark Skin — Five Fearless African Women.

“My chocolate is elegant. So is what I represent… A nation of warriors.”

Sudanese by nationality, Nyakim Gatwech is a 24 year old professional model, fearlessly breaking the barriers of conventional beauty. Currently living in the United States; Minneapolis, Minnesota, were she doubles as a fashion model and black rights activist. As a social media influencer, Nyakim makes her mark by boldly expressing self love and speaking against colorism in a world that is not always accommodative. Dubbed 'Queen of the dark', Nyakim happily accepts the title saying;  “Black is bold, black is beautiful, black is gold… Don’t let American standards damage your African soul.”


"I have never been inclined to lighten my skin at any point, or felt like bleaching my skin will make me look better, despite people telling me I'm dark, despite them calling me all sorts of names. I can say I survived that."

Who is she? A Zambian makeup artist, who is rather exceptional in her works, owning a makeup service company called Fire 'n' Ice. A Chef by profession, changing instilled perception one makeup brush at a time. Emelia Chilambe Swaba, is a young lady wearing her melanin with pride and making a bold statement in the most subtle of ways. Not long ago, she fell prey to an internet troll who referred to her as 'Chifita'- a derogatory Zambian term for 'dark one'. To whom she aired the thought; "I'm at a place in my life were that doesn't get to me, because I've built my self esteem."


'Using her makeup skills to push the message that whatever the color of your skin is, you are beautiful.'

Internationally acclaimed beauty vlogger, Ronke Raji is an advocate of the black girl magic movement, changing the narrative of dark skin beauty, one vlog at a time. Born in the United States, Nigerian by descent, Ronke is an international beauty influencer who started off as a makeup artist. Subsequent to graduating from college, Ronke was advised to do the one thing she feared, which happened to be becoming a makeup artist. She then started to post pictures of her made-up face daily to Instagram. "I wasn’t sure what I was doing but I knew I wanted to get myself out there.Then that led me to YouTube and I have never looked back!" She says. Through her YouTube Channel, Ronche spreads the much needed message, that darker skin tones are beautiful by empowering dark beauties with make over sessions.


.“Being a young girl of about five years, and thinking and wanting to do such a thing as bleaching your skin, is pretty sad if you think about it. I never bleached my skin and thank God I didn’t because I would not be the woman I am today if I did.”

Theresa Klein, born within the city of Lusaka, Zambia, were she was adopted, now calls the state of Missouri in the United States of America, home. As a child, Theresa longed to be a back up dancer for Koffi Olomide; a prominent African artist, within the genre of Rhumba. But she was brought aback by the realization that most of his dancers were light skinned, the complete opposite of her skin tone. Falling prey to colorism, at age five, Theresa found herself wanting to bleach her skin to feel confident. Whilst watching television one time, she was stunned by a South Sudanese model, who walked the British runway fearlessly in her melanin rich skin; Alek Wek. In that moment of immense inspiration, Theresa decided that is who she wanted to be — a dark skinned model who embraces her unique beauty, and so she became.


"Non of us is responsible for the complexion of our skin. This fact of nature offers no clue to the character or quality of a person. Complexion has nothing to do with our Morals, Beliefs or intelligence!"

Aware of the power of social media — a tool, vital for influential messages today.  Natasha Van Der Maas, set out to utilize it to put forth messages of strength, positivity and advocacy against colorism. A much needed voice, in a society that takes solace in relating beauty to lighter skin tones. In case you are wondering who she is,  Natasha Van Der Maas is a Zambian Media personality. Known to many for her role as co-host on Zambezi Magic's Zathu; a lifestyle magazine show, showcasing the very best within the unexplored Zambian lifestyle sphere. She is a woman who wears many hats. An entrepreneur, owning a luxurious floral arrangement company called Unforgettable Moments, while simultaneously running a Hair Salon; Hair to the Throne. Natasha is a public figure, who continuously exudes the power of taking pride in your God given dark skin.


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