• January 29th, 2020

Kanyi Mbau on colourism in the entertainment industry

Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK – Having worked in entertainment for more than 10 years, Kanyi Mbua says colour plays a big role in the South African industry and people are typecast. “When directors look at you, they look and decide you look like a girlfriend, you make a good lawyer because you have a firm face,” she commented.

The South African actress, TV host and artist came under fire on Twitter when she uploaded a picture of herself next to a yellow Porsche, which is presumed to be hers, looking “too white”. In an interview with eNCA she admitted to bleaching her skin.  “Ninety per cent of my colour is cosmetic now and this was a personal choice and not because it is something needed for the industry; it’s something that I preferred because once my skin is fairer that means I would have to use less make-up,” she explained. 

She said this is different compared to when she has to sit in a chair and have her make-up done, but now she can just put on powder and continue with shooting a movie. “That was a maintenance issue that I wanted to do,” she said. 

Mbau said she doesn’t have an issue with being black as the comments are alluding. “Africans have become such bullies, in terms of what our freedoms mean and what being an African is,” she stated. She said people use that against anyone, especially darker skin people, and they dictate how Africans should be. She further asked what the use of freedom is if one can’t do as they please with themselves. “Why did we fight for freedom if we can’t express the way we feel? ” she questioned. 

She said for one to be an African you don’t necessarily need to be in beads and ethnic in a particular way. “We claim to be global citizens, but we hate it when people try to reach out and look like a global citizen,” she claimed. 

On how she feels when seeing the comments on social media, Mbau said it’s sad how South Africans fear what they don’t know. “When people hear the word bleach they go crazy stating skin cancer, ” she said. 
Mbau said technology is upgrading. “If cellphones can be smartphones today, clearly skin lighting can be on another level that you don’t get sick and it’s something that you can maintain.” 

On the safeness of the procedures that she has undergone, Mbau said nothing is safe in this life. “Walking out of your house is a risk, you could die,” she stated. The risks Mbau highlighted are monetary. 
“It’s expensive, the IV (intravenous therapy procedure) alone costs R1 200 per procedure and if you have to do that for a period of five years, you can imagine the amount of money you need to spend. With everything including the vitamins, you may be required to pay R10 000 per month. You also need to know what your skin type is – your pH and mine are not the same,” she said. 

New Era Reporter
2019-07-08 09:55:32 | 6 months ago

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