By Eric Tataw, Washington DC, USA – Friday November 22, 2019.
An organisation that promotes Africa’s beauty heritage says authorities at the Yaounde City Council have breached the law by allowing billboard adverts of skin lightening creams.
The practice is as old as anyone can remember. Different people over the years have given it different names. For example, late Afro-beat King, Fela Kuti, called it Yellow Fever. In French-speaking parts of Cameroon today, djansan is commonly used to refer to the practice.
These and many other words describe the growing tendency by blacks to lighten their skin colour in order to make them look more Western.
In a statement released to the media, Thursday, November 21, 2019, @frikEsthetik, a charity “that promotes Africa’s beauty heritage,” takes the Yaounde City Council to task for allowing the publication on street billboards of adverts of skin lightening creams produced by the beauty care company, Caro Care.
@frikEsthetik’s Director, Bentse Kue Guy Merlin, cites Terminus Mimboman near the Fire Service Station and Efoulan Junction, as some of the parts of the city carrying such advertising.
By giving Caro Care the authorisation to advertise skin bleaching creams, @frikEsthetik says the Government Delegate to the Yaounde City Council is thereby promoting the destruction of black skin in favour of lighter skin.
Describing the practice as the source of all manner of diseases, citing skin specialists. Moreover, the not-for-profit organisation argues that public advertisements of skin lightening creams go against Law Number 2006/018 of December 29, 2006, on advertising.
In Article 24, Chapter 3, the law says: “Advertising must not contain racially discriminatory, ethnic or sexual messages; scenes of violence and incitement to behaviour prejudicial to health, security of people and property, and the environment.”
Similarly, the granting of permission by the Government Delegate, @frikEsthetik warns, violates Hans Kelsen’s principle ranking of judicial norms. Only the Head of State has the power to authorise such advertising by signing a new decree. Or Parliament votes a new bill to the effect, the charity notes.
It therefore urges the Government Delegate to the Yaounde City Council, Gilbert Tsimi Evouna, to immediately order the removal of Caro Care’s skin bleaching body lotion adverts from Yaounde’s streets.
And also urges young Africans to value their skin colour by jealously guarding it as a symbol of “Africanness.” @frikEsthetik’s statement to the media concludes with the slogan, “No to djansan”