Nollywood Actress Destiny Etiko Sparks Colorism Debate with Controversial Statement
Nollywood actress Destiny Etiko has inadvertently ignited a significant debate with a recent comment expressing her wish to be reborn as a white woman in her next life. The comment, made during a live session on Instagram, has triggered intense discussions about colorism and racial preferences within Nigeria.
Etiko, renowned for her roles in movies like “Idemili” and “Sidi Okoro,” casually mentioned her preference for lighter skin in a hypothetical scenario. “In my next life, I want to come back as white. I don’t like being dark,” she stated.
While seemingly innocuous, the actress’s comment has struck a chord with many Nigerians, especially those advocating against colorism—a form of prejudice or discrimination favoring lighter skin tones over darker ones. Critics have labeled Etiko’s statement as insensitive, reflecting the deeply ingrained belief in some societies that whiteness equates to beauty and privilege.
The conversation quickly spilled onto social media, with Nigerians on both sides of the issue passionately expressing their opinions. Some have defended Etiko, arguing that her preference is a matter of personal taste and shouldn’t be interpreted as promoting colorism.
“Everyone has their preferences,” tweeted one user. “Just because she wants to be white doesn’t mean she hates being black. Let her be!”
Others, however, strongly condemned Etiko’s statement, accusing it of reinforcing harmful colorist narratives.
“This is exactly the problem!” wrote another user. “We’re conditioned to think that being white is better, and it’s perpetuating racism and self-hate within our own communities.”
The debate has highlighted the complex issue of racial self-perception in Nigeria, a country with a long history of colonialism and its lingering effects. While many Nigerians proudly celebrate their blackness, others, particularly those with darker skin tones, often face societal pressures to conform to Eurocentric beauty standards.
Etiko has since apologized for her statement, claiming she did not intend to offend anyone. However, this incident underscores the necessity of discussing colorism in Nigeria and globally. Through education and understanding, efforts can be made to create a world where everyone feels comfortable and confident in their skin.