“Mama Dudu, Oyinbo Pepper”
Colourism and its effects on the psychology of Africans is a timely, essential and leaden issue that many Nigerians are uncomfortable talking about in-depth. The discrimination based on skin culture has been found to be so transparently obvious in our culture, that it’s a relatively normal thing to find Nigerian men and women bleaching to lighten their skin complexion.
Popular Nigerian Actress, Beverly Naya picks up the challenge of courageously looking through the prevalent issue of colourism in Nigeria, as she delves deep into the topic in her documentary, Skin.
The documentary was released on the streaming platform, Netflix on Sunday but has actually premiered in Lagos since Sunday, March 31, 2019. In Skin, Beverly Naya goes on a journey to dissect the concept of colourism in Lagos, Nigeria. Using personal accounts and the different accounts of various individuals, Beverly covers the true meaning of beauty in the different shades of black.
In Skin, @BeverlyNaya explores colorism and finding the true meaning of beauty in the different shades of black by speaking to individuals who have dealt with pressure to conform to society’s standards of beauty.
Skin is now streaming pic.twitter.com/AXgiavchfD
— Netflix Naija (@NetflixNaija) June 28, 2020
Beverly has had a clear motivation for highlighting the issues surrounding colourism in the continent, especially in her homeland, Nigeria. As far back as 2014, Beverly Naya had launched a movement tagged “Fifty Shades of Black”, a colourism centred campaign that highlighted insecurities around skin complexion.
Beverly’s newest attempt to broach this subject was met with wide praise from the Nigerian audience, with many taking to social media to share their views.
Many people ushered relentless praise for the film, some stating that it revealed the rotten depth of colourism in Nigeria. Some expressed just how deeply the documentary moved them, such that they were at the point of tears.
Beverly Naya’s Skin documentary makes me badly want to produce an acne centered documentary.
The similarities between fair/dark skin and clear/acne skin are enormous.
I WILL DO IT!
— Mistress Of Lagos (@xxlafleur) June 28, 2020
#SkinTheDocumentary is everything I thought it would be – and more. It is beautiful, inspiring, brave, thought-provoking, creative, emotional and powerful. It is a wholesome manifesto and a personal undertaking. It is also a love letter to Black girls.
Thank you, Beverly Naya
— ysl (@khadijasanusi_) June 29, 2020
“Skin” by Beverly Naya on Netflix y’all. Learning so much on how light skin was made acceptable & how people will take extra mile to get a light skin, but even learning the reasons behind it is more sad.
— Omoge Adumaradan👸🏿 (@olufunke_x) June 29, 2020
Watching #SkinNetflix and I can't tell why I teared up when the lady mixing cream started getting emotional
— Estol Africa (@cutekimani) June 29, 2020
Just saw #SkinNetflix and shed some tears. Such a powerful documentary 💥.
I have some documentary ideas I will love to make based on my personal experiences, but when I think about who will fund it, I get discouraged… and sad.
— Ezinne ✨ (@ezinne_akam) June 29, 2020
Individuals shared accounts on their own experiences with colourism, relating with some of the points raised in the film.
Beverly Naya deserves that AMVCA. Skin is such a good documentary. It made me remember so many things and how people made me feel about my dark skin. Then the honest conversations with Bob and the sulfur/coconut oil woman too. Phew.
— Ibifubara Davies (@IB_DAVIES) June 28, 2020
Watching this skin by Beverly Naya and it just shows how deep colorism is in Nigeria ,especially all these modeling agencies tthat fetish over light skinned or mixed race people 🤮
— 🥺❤️ (@Pamelah_h_) June 29, 2020
Let me tell you a story. I’ve always been baba dudu. Dad mum siblings all black. We had zero insecurities about it. Infact I always saw baba dudu as a compliment till I had my first kid. He was fair in complexion like his mum…(a thread) pic.twitter.com/IdkMTnELx0
— Niyi Akinmolayan (@niyiakinmolayan) June 29, 2020
Some people highlighted that this documentary would give a much-needed, fresh perspective of Africa and Africans.
Just watched Beverly Naya give some sort of original foundation to black beauty from the Nigerian perspective. This may just help more black people in The world know a bit more about home (Africa) for REAL. Congrats @BeverlyNaya.
— T.E.S.L.I.M (@VectorThaViper) June 28, 2020
— Olaedo (@Chigoziirim) June 28, 2020
Beverly’s documentary seems to herald hope for many for more thought-provoking content from the Nigerian entertainment industry in this age and time.
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks