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Uganda’s former VP ‘shades’ bleached Speaker Anita Among

Former Ugandan Vice President, Ms Specioza Kazibwe has no kind words for women who bleach their skin to attain lighter shades, something she has equated to “cooking yourself” to appear more attractive.

Ms Kazibwe made the remarks during the burial of politician Joyce Mpanga, in what appeared to be a thinly-veiled attack on Speaker of the National Assembly Speaker Anita Among.

“This is a generation where we are seeing women in high leadership positions, cooking their own bodies. We never cooked ourselves in our time. We feel very bad. How can you be a leader of Africans if you are not a proud African of your own body?” Ms Kazibwe posed.

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She mentioned some notable Ugandan female politicians, including Rhoda Kalema, the late Pumla Kisosonkole and Sarah Ntiro as women who were proud custodians of their cultures and compared them to modern day politicians who bleach their skins.

“None of those women I mentioned ever breached their bodies. Pumla was a light-skinned woman in the way that God created her, and Joyce was black beauty in her own respect and whenever I was with her, our skins glowed like a young millipede. I have served in the African Union, in peace and security… now I am all about culture. If you are out there and you have cooked your body, I will tell you directly that you need to go and uncook it,” Capital Times quoted Ms Kazibwe.

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Ms Among, inspite of her top political position, is widely believed by many in Uganda to have bleached her skin. Many of her countrymen and women have urged her to stop bleaching her skin and instead use her position to campaign against the adverse effects of skin bleaching.

According to a 2019 United Nations report, 40 per cent of African women bleach their skin using creams – some containing steroids –  and injectables such as glutathione which also come in chewable forms like gummies.

Health experts argue that skin bleaching exposes users to health problems such as brain (in fetuses), liver and kidney damage, psychosis and cancer.

These are some of the major concerns in countries that banned skin bleaching products, especially those that contain hydroquinone.

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