Monday, 21 November 2016

Trevor Dongo’s new song: The self-hate for the dark African woman

By Jean Gasho

Zimbabwean urban musician Trevor Dongo yesterday released the You Tube video of his awaited new single Shoko ReRudo (A word of love). I tuned in to watch the video but to my horror I found the song to be rather disturbing and upsetting. 

The first lyrics literally put me off from listening to the rest of the song. I honestly could not believe what I was hearing.

Translated into English, the first lyrics on the song say “When I first saw you I thought you were white, because your skin is so bright, shiny and nice. Your skin is what captivated me and drew me to you. You are a rare type. Your type is not found easily, a man has to be brave and stand out in order to date a woman like you (white/light skinned). Where you come from I can not fathom, that’s why I have chosen you and will spoil you by singing this love song to you”.

To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. Music is one of the most powerful tools of influence over society. And sadly Dongo has used his music to feed into the inferiority complexes and self-hate of black people. There is nothing wrong with women with white or light skin, they are extremely beautiful. But light skin has been used to discriminate against women with darker skin. In Africa, especially Zimbabwe women with darker skin are often called names and mistreated by society. This was unfortunately influenced by colonization which caused Zimbabweans and other Africans to self-hate their darker skin and believe it was some sort of curse.

It’s disappointing that in 2016 Trevor Dongo still has the mindset of inferiority complex and has gone as far as to project it in his music.

On social media, there is always a trend from Zimbabweans which elevates light skinned women over darker women. They have a fancy name for it, which is “yellow bones”. This is the ultimate standard of beauty in Zimbabwe. A man will celebrate and thank the gods if he gives birth to light skinned daughter. I have seen many photos of new born baby girls being debuted on Facebook with the harsh tag “Yellow Bone”. No man or woman will ever come out and celebrate the birth of a dark skinned baby, it’s seen as a curse.

Lighter skinned women also enjoy the liberty of regularly taking to social media to brag about their privileged “beauty”. Dark skinned women are often accused of being jealous of “yellow bones”. I find the level of self hatred very disturbing. When growing up I was often told men only love women with light skin, if you are dark you will not find love.


One Zimbabwean woman who often uses her lighter skin to brag is Pokello Nare, the daughter of Zimbabwean Minister Ignatius Chombo. Pokello calls herself an original “yellow bone”. She is often depicted in the media as being one of the most beautiful Zimbabwean women because of her light skin. Others even argue that she is not the most beautiful, but only has the advantage of being light.

She often expresses how privileged she is to have such light skin when other dark women are bleaching just look get the look. Off course there is nothing wrong with Pokello believing she’s beautiful and expressing it, and yes she is beautiful, but it is disturbing when done in the tone of supremacy over dark women.

Senegalese Khoudia Diop has overcome the stigma of dark skin by becoming one of the most beautiful models the world has today, though she was bullied all her life because of her very dark skin.

Talking about the beauty of dark skin, I have a lot of respect for Zimbabwean musician Bryan K, who released his hit song Heavy Machine earlier this year. Unlike Trevor Dongo, he uses music to celebrate the epitome of black beauty. He praises the dark skinned woman and emphasizes on her intelligence of being proud of who she is. He admires her black features and curved body. Now this is a man who knows the value of a black woman when she is proud of her dark skin even when society shuns her.

Contrary to what black people has been made to feel about their dark skin, it is the healthiest of all skin types. It is rich in the skin pigment melanin, which is also found in the brain and eyes. Melanin even stabilizes the nervous system, giving strength to the body. The darker the skin is the less prone it is to skin cancer. The darker the skin is the less it ages. It is simply called melanin power.

The only way we can fight racism is through self worth and knowing who we are as a people. We have to have pride in what makes us beautiful, our dark skin. On a positive note to Trevor Dongo, even though the content of the song is disturbing, at least I have given it publicity. They say in showbiz there is no such thing as bad publicity; I’m sure Shoko ReRudo will certainly get a few more views on You Tube.

In conclusion, we as black people are the masters of our own destiny, until our mindsets are changed to appreciate who we are, racism will never end. Black men need to stop trying so hard to eradicate dark skin through marrying white or light skinned women just to produce light skinned babies. Black beauty is to be celebrated, not discriminated against by the men who are supposed to love, cherish and appreciate it. The fear of producing a dark skinned child is the fuel for self hate.
Trevor Dongo’s new song: The self-hate for the dark African woman
You can follow Jean Gasho on her blog Just Jean
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