Tolanibaj Speaks On Colorism In The Entertainment Industry

She Says Dark SKinned Women Fall In Second Option Category

By  | Feb 11, 2021, 04:51 PM  | Drama

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In every industry, there are practitioners who have people or brand they prefer to work with. Audiences have icons, and celebrities have their favourites. One of the prevailing issues in Nollywood is colour-casting: where people are cast or favourably considered mainly because of their colour.

A Twitter user made her observation about how she believed TolaniBaj of BBNaija fame was not getting the right amount of recognition she should get, based on her work ethics and strong personality
Some things don't add up. Tolani baj is such a top babe. She has a strong character, she's ambitious, her work ethic is insane. Her self assurance& confidence is top notch. She's absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Why doesn't she have 1 of the biggest fanbases in BBN this year? Damn Colorism is real

TolaniBaj responded to her tweet: 
‘Aww, thank you beautiful
Nigerians are colourists but y’all not ready for this conversation. P.s: I won’t go back & forth with anyone to defend my statement. I will block you expeditiously.
Brown skin women in the industry deserve their accolades too. Stop overlooking them and choosing them last.
I said what I said’.

Tolani had been in the industry before contesting in the reality TV show, so she probably spoke from a place of great experience, but the conversation got redirected to her performance on the show.
Many of the people who commented mentioned that it was not because of her colour that she wasn’t getting enough recognition but because she did not give Nigerians what they wanted when she was in the big brother house.

Colourism is prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favouring people with lighter skin over people with darker skin.
Many industries have unconsciously set a standard for beauty with the people they select to be the faces of their brands. Because the entertainment industry is one that constantly keeps getting in people’s faces, the trend is a lot more noticeable. 

But are we talking about colourism enough?

After the release of Jade Osiberu’s Sugar rush last year 2020, a fan on Twitter expressed their opinion about the lead actor, Adesua Etomi. They did not think she had the skill to carry such a movie, but she had the complexion:

‘Adesua Etomi is a beautiful soul but she isn’t a good actor. I understand that probably Colorism and favouritism may be responsible for her getting roles on a regular but let’s be honest’.

In an interview a few years ago, some actresses shared how their skin colour prevented them from getting leading roles.
Mercy Johnson shared that Somebody once told her she was too dark but that is where the grace and favour of God come in.
Keira Hewatch had spoken about losing roles due to her complexion. She further shared the excuses she was given was that there was a lot of work that goes into lighting a darker person as opposed to a light-skinned person
In the award-winning documentary ‘Skin’ produced by Beverly Naya, Diana Yekini said that she was told by people that due to her skin colour, she wouldn’t be working by 2018.
TV presenter Eku Edewor also spoke about how she was, as a light-skinned talent, caught in between casting.   

On Tolanibaj's page, the camp was divided as some people agreed with her while others disagreed and mentioned women who are dark-skinned and doing well, like Cee-Cee, Dorathy, Bisola.

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