However, the advent of western civilization: corporate controlled hip-hop music, R&B, and indecent dressing portrayed by fashion, has recently cast a dark shadow over the pride of the African beauty. African women of today, both young and old can shamelessly walk the streets virtually naked in the name of fashion. Some even go to places of worship improperly attired: breasts exposed, transparent dresses, mini skirts and all manner of extreme body exposure.
They watch western movies where such lifestyles are considered to be “hot” and “sexy”. Therefore the African woman thinks that it is alright to expose her precious assets for the world to behold even if it means risking her dignity. Little or no attention whatsoever is paid to human conscience. After all, being “sexy” is all that matters.
The Cost of Africa’s Inferiority Complex
According to one estimate, African girls of today spend more money on fashion than what they spend on books and food combined. From pedicure to manicure, skin bleaching cosmetics, hair relaxers, wigs, weaves, eyelashes, nails, among others. Many women in the universities even go to the extreme: they blow part of their school fees on items that will make them look sexy.
Take Nigeria for example, it is estimated that Nigeria has a population of about 155million with about 56% between the ages of 16-54 years old. Out of these age group women are more than 40million. The details are as follows:
Male = 44,296,228 Female = 42,534,542
Therefore with over 40 million women in Nigeria, if each one of them spends at least $1 a week on any of the above items, how much will that be? At least that is $40million dollars per week; making it about $150/month. Mind you this figure just applies to Nigeria only. What about the women across all the 54 African countries combined?
Every day, Korean and Brazilian families thank black women for giving their countries $16.4 million dollars each. The low self-esteem of African women is making them very rich and they’re happy about that.
Throughout Africa, women spend billions of dollars every week, to import Brazilian hair, Peruvian hair, Korean hair, Asian hair, European wigs, weaves, eyelashes, artificial nails and many other stuff, all because the African woman does not appreciate her God-given natural beauty anymore. She bleaches her skin and spends so much on her hair because she wants to look Asian or European. She believes that is sexy! The result: cancer and other numerous untold consequences. This is so because the African woman has been brainwashed to look down upon her identity and to boycott her natural beauty for someone else’s. Our women have disposed their natural beauty and are rather paying so much for Asian and Western fashion. In fact, it costs African women hundreds of billions of dollars every year to keep their artificial make ups, their artificial hairs, the nails, and all the fashion they have blindly copied from other societies at the expense of their God-given beauty.
At the same time, the African fashion has been thrown to the dogs. Africa therefore spends all these money to create jobs for Asia, Europe and the Americas, whilst unemployment and poverty is becoming the destiny of the African people. Most African relationships are unstable because African women of today would demand all that their partners may not be able to afford. Africa needs mental revolution.
Bob Marley warned Africans to emancipate themselves from mental slavery, yet Africans wouldn’t listen. If African women are throwing their pride, natural beauty and their culture to the dogs, whom do we expect, to cherish and to promote the natural beauty of the African woman?
What About The Young Men?
The problem of indecent exposure, is not only limited to the ladies. A very common practice with boys of today is ‘Pant sagging’. It first became known in Ghanaian parlance, as “Otto Pfister”.
‘Otto Pfister’ is a kind of dressing in which the youth, especially boys, deliberately pull their trousers/shorts down below the waistline to the extent of almost dropping off and exposing part of their buttocks or their boxer shorts.
In West Africa, “Otto Pfister” became popular in 1991 after the Black Starlets, Ghana’s Under-17 soccer team, won that year’s trophy in Italy. The then German Coach, Otto Pfister, who led the team to success, was fond of dressing that way.
It is believed that “pant sagging” actually originated from prisons in the United States, as a way to display homosexuality. Therefore the male inmates had little or no difficulty in identifying the homosexuals in their midst ‘if the need be’.
The practice is very common with hip-hop artistes on stage performance as well. Africa’s young men of today have allowed their minds to be poisoned by hip-hop stars and gangster movies. This is a dangerous development.
The Role of The Entertainment Industry
Western style music such as R&B, Hip Hop, and others are gradually having negative influence on African youth. Of course the music and the movie industries have offered opportunities to many Africans. It has created jobs for many and in some cases projected African countries on the positive spotlights. South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, the Congo are a few examples.
However, the danger is that most of the artistes involved are blindly promoting the indecent lifestyle in a manner that sharply contradicts the African norms and values. The entertainment industry in Africa therefore has a huge responsibility to promote African values, especially the dress code which showcases the pride of the African beauty. The movie and the music industry must join forces together to fight the moral decadence in the youth of today. For instance, fighting corruption cannot be a mere political exercise. The movie industry could showcase scenarios in movies where a few responsible politicians are able to stand firm and resist acts of corruption and demonstrate their obedience to the law as well as promoting acts of patriotism.
There is no doubt that many public officials are corrupt in Africa. However, there are also many others who have been able to stand up for what is right and resisted all forms of corruption. The music industry should also check and ensure that their video clips are not dominated by acts of violence and unnecessary sexual scenes. Such platforms should rather serve as opportunity for the artistes to promote African values. We cannot allow the scenes on our screens to be dominated by acts of violence, corruption and unnecessary indecent exposure. Something seriously needs to be done about this before African beauty disappears from the system in the near future.
Appeal To The Youth
Dear sisters and women of Africa. Most of you have collectively already spent so much trillions of dollars to keep the business environment in Asia, Europe and Latin America alive. At the same time, the African industries that produce the fashion that suits our culture are gradually collapsing. I believe such money could do a good job here in Africa and create job opportunities if only you could cherish your African beauty and patronize African fashion. Your African beauty, if well nurtured could attract women from all other backgrounds to celebrate you and make you proud someday.
Martin Luther: Black is beautiful
Therefore the “Black is beautiful” cultural movement which encouraged Blacks to love themselves and have pride in their natural beauty. The movement is responsible for the popularity of the “Afro” hair style. It gave a generation of Africans born in America, the courage to feel good about who they are and how they look.
African women please cherish your African pride. Do not bleach your skins. Keep your complexion because black is beautiful. Sometimes you could keep your Afro as well because it is beautiful.
You only need a change of mind-set and the world will celebrate your beauty and accord you the pride that is rightfully yours. Do not expose yourselves unnecessarily. You are unique and your natural beauty is beyond what you can imagine. Never allow a few musicians elsewhere to brainwash you.
For all you know, they probably have no idea what it means to be an African. Finally, to the men I say be disciplined. Show some dignity for African values in your dressing. Let us cherish our values because that is the only pride we have as a people.
Long live Africa,
Long live the African diaspora.
By; Honourable Saka
The author is a regular writer and a political analyst on African affairs, and a well-known social commentator in Africa. He is the editor of “The Doctor’s Report”, your most reliable source of critical analysis on African affairs. He is a strong Pan-Africanist, a youth activist and the founder of the “Leaders of Tomorrow”, a transformational and inspirational group of possible future leaders. Please visit his blog at:www.honourablesaka.blogspot.co.uk and reach him by Email at:[email protected]