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IREP-Film-Festival-Nolly-Silver-ScreenLast week, I was at a documentary film festival by the name IREP- a brilliant festival, I advise you come next year.

The opening night of IREP screened a beautiful documentary by Nollywood stars Beverley Naya and Etim Effiong titled “Skin”.

Skin is a documentary about colourism with conversations centred on skin bleaching. You might have seen a headline last week that read, “Nigerian Male Barbie- Bobrisky Regrets Decision to Alter His Skin.” It is from this documentary they got the interview where Bobrisky might have confessed to wanting to be dark skinned again. Before the risky haters get uncomfortable, I won’t be discussing Bobrisking neither will I be talking about colourism. What I have to say is quite different…

I sat beside two interesting ladies through the film and like you do at film festivals, we discussed our opinions of the film as it ran. As we were talking about what we felt was nice and what was not, something interesting happened.Bobrisky

A popular artiste and superstar in every sense of the word, I will refrain from naming him, came up on screen and I heard one of the ladies declare that he bleaches. Not like that’s any of my business but I could never have thought so. My reply was that I had always seen his bright complexion as him just being Igbo (No stereotype, Igbo people are usually associated with very light skin).

The other one of the two ladies said she never knew either – but that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part was when the girl that had earlier claimed to be in the dark about this artiste’s possible skin bleaching, like I was, suddenly referred to this artiste as a “skin bleacher”.

I corrected her quickly, adding “allegedly”.

That’s not to say skin colour altering is some sort of crime or is bad but that you can’t just spread stuff you know nothing about simply because somebody said so, especially when it is from strangers you may never meet again. To me what she did was reckless. She could do the same in matter of utter importance.

It is sad that people do not do any form of research or make an attempt to verify what they hear. You can’t just take whatever someone tells you and run with it.

It’s not wise and it’s detrimental. Learn and form opinions by and for yourself. If you get in big trouble for spreading false or fake news what would you say? “I didn’t know my friend said it.”

Aunty, Uncle, ignorance is not an excuse know for thy self.

By Tobee Awosika

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