Seun Ajayi, best known for his role on the hit sitcom ‘Hustle’ has opened up about how he used to be discriminated against because of his black skin.
The actor took to his social media to talk about how he endured snide comments from cameramen who mocked how ‘difficult’ it was to light him.
Seun Ajayi says he’s over it now and is proud of his skin.
MELANIN POPPING… BROWN SKIN … These are interesting times. You see, I was born and currently live in the most populous black nation on earth, it is funny, however, that one of the most challenging self-image issues I have had is about my dark complexion.
Boarding school was an interesting place, a place where all the nicknames/insults were hurled in reference to my appearance, especially my skin color and lips. ‘See as e black like shit’, Ajayi lips, Calipso, black shadow, etc. I grew up with the impression that my darkness was some kind of handicap, a curse even.
It took a worse turn when I started my sojourn into the world of making a living in front of the camera. I have often turned away from auditions and sometimes when I did get the part, the jokes and snide comments from lighting and camera technicians about how difficult it was to light me in a scene were constant, and they stung every time.
Make no mistake, I am now more proud than ever about my physical features. I’m grateful that the feedback from a small circle of cheerleaders gave me the confidence to dig my heels in and ignore the noise. What worries me though, is how the mentality of dark skin being inferior still thrives amongst even seemingly educated people. Who lives in the biggest black nation on earth. I mean, very recently I had to cut the noise around how my six-month-old son is ‘thankfully not as dark as his daddy’. Like, wait, what if he was though, is it healthy to make it sound like that would have been a bad thing?
The truth is that the world around us is steadily changing, and for us Africans/Nigerians it has taken many many trends and fads for us to change our minds about our music, culture, and our skin. My message to you though is to be more sensitive about how you talk about people’s features. Words cut much deeper than we think.