The Citizen TV news anchor’s words came as she weighed in on the issue of colourism in Kenya as the world discussed the issue of Black Lives Matter.
She pointed out that being light skinned has been interpreted as beauty, opportunity, work, wealth, good marriage and beautiful children, adding that this is one of the attitudes that needs to change before we begin standing up for black lives matter.
Okwara disclosed that dark skin girls need to work extra and put double effort to land jobs in TV stations compared to their light-skin counterparts.
In a long Instagram post she revealed Kenyans, especially media house bosses, should stop stereotyping and consider hiring female news anchor and reporters based on their merits and not skin colour. The TV journalists held people should not only fight for Black Lives Matter but also fight to end the vice which has seen many dark skin girls suffer as they try to climb the media professional ladder.
Her post read;
“We are all talking about black lives matter. But we also need to reflect on our own culture in this part of the world. Colourism. Darker skinned girls and women are treated differently.
We have to work twice as hard, be twice as smart to get ahead, because, what else do we have going for us, right? Because, inadvertently or otherwise this is the standard that has been set: light skin= beauty= opportunity= work = wealth= good marriage = beautiful children It is these attitudes that have fueled the skin lightening industry , where girls just get tired of fighting the stereotype, of proving themselves, of starting from a disadvantaged position, and so give in to the craze.
We may all like to focus elsewhere, but charity begins at home. Before you stand up for the BLM movement, before you judge men and women for lightening their skin, telling them to love their skin, why not examine what got us here and how we got here? On a personal note, it’s not been easy for me.
Especially in this industry, I’ve seen the privilege that light skin has accorded others. I’ve seen them get away with murder, when I’ve been held to a higher standard.
I’ve been expected to be smarter because, “you don’t have the looks so you’ve got to use your brain instead” It hasn’t been easy, It’s exhausting at times, but it’s also rewarding. But it needs to change.”
Her sentiments were supported by many people who agreed indeed most TV station hire female hosts due to the colour and not qualifications.