Journalist Brian Sakwa claims that the lighter one’s skin is the better off one is when looking for a job in the broadcast media industry.
Sakwa, who is a presenter at Y254, took to social media to narrate how he was discriminated against on the basis of his skin colour.
The dark-skinned journalist expressed shock that colourism (the practice of favouring lighter skin over darker skin) was still a major factor in recruitment in the media industry even at present.
Sakwa further narrated how he lost out on several job opportunities because he was ‘too dark’ for television.
“Colorism??Still a thing in 2023?🙄 While was starting out in media back in 2014 went to countless tv auditions and some responses like “we needed someone a little bit lighter, tall and blah blah..,I’m tall yeah,back a little light.?? F******g through this a million times and wanna thank me for being here ain’t easy to be so called “dark skinned “ in complexion,” Sakwa wrote in part.
The TV presenter said that he thought being tall, dark and handsome was marketable until he lost several job opportunities for having a dark skin tone.
“I thought #tdh (tall, dark, handsome) Is marketable. Being a charismatic gentleman and eyeing same tv spots either film, tv program hosting and the tv broadcast field ain’t no joke. I promised myself that no matter what I’ll still get it right. I’ll get it! Nothing can stop me!“
View this post on Instagram
Lupita Nyong’o’s experience with colourism
In an interview with BBC Newsnight ahead of the release of her children’s book ‘Sulwe’ in October 2019, Lupita Nyong’o shared her experiences with colourism in Kenya.
Growing up in Kenya, in a society with predominantly black p****e, Lupita narrated how she felt judged because of her dark skin and the general expectation of having to ascribe to Eurocentric standards of beauty.
“I definitely grew up feeling uncomfortable with my skin colour because I felt like the world around me awarded lighter skin. Race is a very social construct, one that I didn’t have to ascribe to on a daily basis growing up. As much as I was experiencing colourism in Kenya, I wasn’t aware that I belonged to a race called black because suddenly the term black was being ascribed to me and it meant certain things that I was not accustomed to,” Lupita said.