“Upendo wa Yesu” singer: Why I bleached my skin

Tanzanian gospel singer Upendo Nkone, popular for her song Upendo wa Yesu, has confessed to bleaching her skin.

Upendo Nkone said she – in the past – used to apply skin lightening cream, but has since stopped following complaints by her fans.

Speaking to EATV’s online programme, Kikaangoni, on Wednesday, April 12, Ms Nkone said she was introduced to skin lightening by a friend after she (Ms Nkone) had sought an advice from her about how she would get rid of dark spots on her face and stretch marks on other parts of her body.

Her friend, she says, advised her to apply a certain “medicine” that would help her get rid of the stretch marks and dark spots. Indeed, the stretch marks and the dark spots on her face disappeared after applying the cream on her body for a couple of days. But, something new arose – her skin was becoming lighter by the day, Ms Nkone said.

Her fans would take notice of her lighter skin, and take to social media to urge her to refrain from skin lightening. She heeded.

“I no longer bleach my skin. It is true that I used to bleach my skin, but my fans were not in approval of the practice. They used to call me on phone and urge me to stop the habit. I decided to stop it,” Ms Nkone said.

Ms Nkone said besides her fans’ disapproval of her skin lightening, she has two other reasons for refraining from the “habit” of skin lightening. The first reason, Ms Nkone said: “skin lightening is faulting God for creating me the way I was; hence I showed disrespect against His perfect work and nature.”

And the second one: “I realised skin lightening was affecting my skin; and I just had to stop lest I destroy it more.”

Ms Nkone also revealed, in the interview, that she declined a marriage proposal from the late Angela Chibalonza’s husband.

Angela Chibalonza, a top Congolese gospel singer, died in a car crash in 2008.

“Yes, Chibalonza’s husband proposed marriage to me, but I declined because at the time he was expressing the interest, I was already in a relationship with the man I am currently married to (John Mbeyela),” said Ms Nkone.

Ms Nkone married Mr Mbeyela in 2010, nearly nine years after the death of her first husband.

In a past interview, Ms Nkone said she rebuffed advances by financially loaded men through the nine years of widowhood because “God had warned her against most of them”.

She cited loneliness as a prime reason for remarrying.

Besides, she says she got married for a second time because people often “found it difficult to believe that a beautiful woman in ministry can live a celibate life.”

“Given the nature of ministerial work that I do, I saw it wise to remarry. The life of widowhood is difficult because people often try to find fault in one’s movements. Sometimes when I complete my stage performance, people often ask: ‘Is it really true that she has no man in her life?’ Marriage accords me the respect that I direly need from members of the society. A husband is a protector, a husband is a blessing from God. Now, people refer to me as the wife of a man of God,” said Ms Nkone.

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