Africa has been exploding with hit-making talent in the last few years, but one thing that has become apparent among popular artists from Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania is their use of light-skinned or white models. Most music videos featuring the continent’s top male artists lack dark-skinned women, as evidenced by videos from musicians Wizkid and Diamond Platnumz.
This is Africa reported on several examples of music clips that lack melanin, aside from their stars. A YouTube search of the most viewed videos from Africa reveals there are no dark-skinned women in the clips, and those who do appear are relegated to the background. Diamond Platnumz’s newest single, “Kidgo,” with P-Square, shows several women dancing and performing, but the ladies with lighter complexions are in the foreground interacting with the artists while the dark-skinned women are pushed off into the distance. Platnumz’s video for “Mdogo Mdogo” is not any better. He is seen serenading a white woman as they ride a horse through the forest.
But Diamond is not the only African artist who has prominently featured non-dark-skinned Black women in his videos. In last year’s “Final (Baba Nla),” Wizkid showed his preference when he featured non-dark-skinned women in the clip. Rich Mavoko had a playful pillow fight with his “Ibaki Story” co-star, a non-Black woman. In Sexy Rosey’s “Flavour,” he danced with a group of white and light-skinned female dancers on the beach. P-Square was featured on the song, too, and like “Kidgo,” the fairer-skinned ladies were pushed toward the front while women with dark skin tones were on the outskirts.
Fans have taken notice of the trend, which is not new.
A 2013 tweet from Afua Hirsch shows the rarity of seeing a dark-skinned woman take the lead role in a video.
Colourism is bad enough in #US but in W Africa its unbelievable. Is v rare sight indeed 2 see dark-skinned women as main part in music video
— Afua Hirsch (@afuahirsch) April 12, 2013
But at least one artist has broken the trend.
S/o to Jidenna for featuring a dark skinned black woman as the star of his music video ?
— Kudzai (@httpkudzai) July 30, 2016
@Raavakhaleesi was glad about the other women with dark complexions in the clip.
@Jidenna Little Bit More music video is ???im straight cheesing at all these dark skinned goddesses dancing in this video
— Scary Spice (@RAAVAKHALEESI) July 29, 2016