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Rwanda Cracks Down On Skin Bleaching. Guess Which African Country Has The Most Skin Bleachers?

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Skin bleaching is a billion-dollar industry in predominantly black countries, but some governments want that to change.

Rwanda is one of them. Pointing to the chemicals’ harmful health effects, the country has begun a crackdown to enforce its ban on bleaching agents, especially hydroquinone and mercury, that are found in cosmetics.

According to the World Health Organization, 61 percent of the dermatological market in India consists of skin lightening products. In Nigeria, 77 percent of women use skin lightening products regularly, and in South Africa 59 percent do so, the health agency found.

“We have been conducting inspections on cosmetics to ensure that they are hydroquinone- and mercury-free,” Simeon Kwizera, a spokesman for the Rwanda Standards Board, said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “We are seizing some cosmetics, inspecting the shops and markets and advising the sellers.”

“It is been implemented by the Ministry of Health and the Rwanda Food and Drug Authority and the Rwanda Standards Board,” said Simeon Kwizera, “Operations are being conducted by technical people,” he said. “The police is there to oversee only and make sure that all operations are being conducted in a safe way.”

“We are now putting much effort, like educating people, going around and seizing those illegal products,” Francois Uwinkindi, director of the cancer unit at the Ministry of Health, told Reuters news agency. Rwandan police said they seized more than 5,000 banned bleaching products — including lotions, oils, soaps and sprays — from beauty shops across the country last month, according to local media, New Times.

In Rwanda and other countries, people use cosmetics to bleach their skin because they feel that lighter skin is the ideal or indicates higher social status. Dark-skinned people do not necessarily see people like them in billboards, movies, and advertisements, and dark-skinned celebrities sometimes grow more popular after bleaching their skin. This all makes it easier to believe that darker skin is of lesser value or is not considered as beautiful.

In 1983, South Africa banned all but 2 percent hydroquinone creams. In 2015, Ivory Coast banned all skin whitening creams, and in 2016, Ghana began a ban on certain skin whitening products that include hydroquinone. Rwanda instituted its ban in 2013 but had not strictly enforced it until November, when the crackdown began.

To get around these bans, some cosmetics manufacturers, eyeing the opportunities for profit, change the name of the agents in order to sell their products, according to Mr. Kwizera.

“Some manufacturers cheat the customers,” he said, by doing things like creating numerous fake brands. “They forge more than 80 names just to change the name.”

Mr. Kwizera said he believed products with hydroquinone were mainly being smuggled into Rwanda.

The country’s president, Paul Kagame, endorsed the crackdown on Twitter, calling skin bleaching unhealthy.

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Beauty

Miss Algeria 2019 Is Black, Racist Trolls Are Attacking Her But She Won’t Back Down

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The newly crowned winner of Miss Algeria beauty pageant has hit back at critics who have hurled racial abuse at her because of her skin color.

“I will not back down because of the people who criticised me,” Khadija Ben Hamou told Algerian news site TSA.

Slurs about her dark skin colour, nose and lips have been made on Facebook and Twitter.

ALSO READ: Tunisia Becomes Second African Country And First Arab Nation To Outlaw Racism. Here Is What Will Happen If You Break The Law

Darker-skinned Algerians face discrimination in the North African state.

Ms Ben Hamou, who comes from the southern Adrar region, said that she was proud of her identity and winning the competition.

“I am honoured that I have achieved my dream, and I am honoured by the state of Adrar where I come from,” she said.

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Beauty

This Young African Is Trending As The Most Beautiful Girl In The World

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Jare Ijalana (Photo by Mofe Bamuyiwa)

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and in this case, a large number of social media beholders have dubbed this gorgeous 5 year old as the “most beautiful girl in the world”.

Official images of Nigerian girl, Jare Ijalana were shared on Instagram and Twitter by photographer Mofe Bamuyiwa last week. “Oh yes she’s human! She’s also an angel!” the Lagos camerawoman captioned one of the portraits of Jare.

Jare Ijalana (Photo by Mofe Bamuyiwa)

The images were shared on the photographer’s Instagram  with the following caption on one of them.

“CHILDREN ARE A GIFT FROM HEAVEN.
I’m pretty excited and elated about my new style of child portraiture. Before I thought of Photographing the @the_j3_sisters , I have had frivolous ideas of how I can make artsy portraits of kids And do away from the norm. The opportunity came and I had to take a bold step to express my ideas of how I want to take portraits of kids.

Jare Ijalana (Photo by Mofe Bamuyiwa)

With piercing eyes, beautiful complexion and gorgeous hair, the child is being revered as “doll-like,” “true work of art” and “absolutely stunning.” The three portraits of Jare have garnered nearly 50,000 likes and thousands of comments on Instagram.

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TAKE OUR POLL: The Search For Mr Ugly Zimbabwe 2017 – Good Idea OR Bad?

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TAKE OUR POLL

Is A Pageant About Ugliness A Good Way for People to Celebrate Who They are OR is it a Terrible Idea?

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Greetings from Zimbabwe, where the search for the country’s 2017 ugliest man is underway. The contest had taken a year’s hiatus due to lack of funding. While the contest has been criticized in the past, its organizers say the pageant celebrates beauty in ugliness.

Zimbabwe will be selecting the ugliest man in the country at this year’s annual Mr Ugly contest. It has attracted 13 participants, and the winner will represent the country at the maiden Mr Ugly Africa contest in South Africa in 2018.

The event was introduced in 2011 for people to have fun and celebrate who they are, just like any contest in the world. Just like a regular pageant, the participants have to impress the judges and audience with their personality and catwalk to emerge the winner or receive the cash prices and token hampers. It has become one of the country’s popular events.

Past Three Winners

In 2011, Austin Mbewe emerged the winner in what the judges called ‘tightly contested’, after beating eight other hopefuls for the tightly contested Mr Ugly.

Austin Mbewe, the Zimbabwean man who took the coveted title of Mr Ugly 2011

From 2012-2014, William Masvinu won the competition but in 2015, Mison Sere dethroned Masvinu. Mr Masvinu told the BBC that winning the competition in previous years brought him fame and a few minor marketing contracts. “To be rewarded is a good thing, this competition has done a lot for me, it’s changed my life,” he said.

William Masvinu took the Title of Mr Ugly Zimbabwe from 2012-2014

In 2015, the event was dogged by controversy and melee. The judges selected Mison Sere as the winner because of his numerous missing teeth and grotesque facial expression. Masvinu contested the judge’s decision and claimed that Sere’s ugliness was not natural because it was based on his missing teeth.

It was argued that winner, Mison Sere who won the title in 2015, was not ugly enough. His win was contested saying he was only ugly when he opened his mouth

 

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