Pepo Nyeusi

” The devil is a spirit. His work is to steal, kill and destroy. Since we cannot see him, he uses people to do his dirty work,and boy, does he like light skinned minions!”

I’ve been told a lot of things over the years due to my skin, assumptions have been made, but I have to admit that being called the devil incarnate was a shocker.

I’m a light skinned lady. The Kenyan ‘scientific’ term for that is rangi ya thao. I did not choose to be the way I am. I was born into a time when everyone wanted to look like me, and those who couldn’t hated me. I was born into a time when people felt threatened by the color of my skin and refused to look beyond that. I was born into a time when my color was set apart as a collector’s item, in the same way that others collect ivory and guns.See, they all want a piece of this color, this color I did not choose.

” Kwani msupa kama wewe hukosa pesa kweli?” They will ask me when I tell them I’m broke. ” Ai,hizo ni mauongo. Dame yellow yellow kama wewe hawezi kosa kamtu. Kazi tu ni kujipanga. ” They’ll finish with this statement, not knowing they have insulted me. Apparently, my skin color guarantees me a lifetime of raining men. Why struggle to get anything by myself when I can live like a queen holding court over her admirers?

Sadly as a lady, and a light skinned one at that, it is doubly assumed that I slept my way to my every success.So what if I won some award? I probably slept with the judges. So what if I graduated? I probably slept with the lecturers. So what if I can quote some Shakespeare? Heck,I probably slept with him, too.

People refuse to accept any other narrative about my color, this color I did not choose. Every day they spew their vitriol about ‘my kind’ as if we should walk around under a shroud. Every day they forget that it’s what beneath the skin that counts, and that my color, this color I did not choose, will one day fade. What then will they be left with to say?

See, if I did even half of the things they say¬† I’ve done or I’m ‘supposed’ to do,they’d be left speechless. After all, the devil made me do it.