All around Africa in our current era, there’s a conscious fight against colourism in various industries. Most notably, the entertainment industry in recent times, has been playing its part in this fight. Actress, TV Host, and Model, Idia Aisien, is a major player in this movement.
In 2020, Idia made history in Nollywood when she played the lead role of Nneka Agu in the remake of Nigerian movie classic, “Nneka the Pretty Serpent.”
It’s a pretty big deal because she landed this coveted role after several auditions, despite having no prior acting experience, and not fitting the stereotypical image of a typical “light-skinned Ibo Nneka,” as this character was originally played by a light-skinned actress in the original version of the film.
Although “Nneka Agu” is a fictional character, most people expected a lighter-skinned actress. However, Idia focused on making the story her own, by becoming “one” with Nneka’s story. And although the issues of her skin color and ethnicity were often brought up by viewers, there were countless others who cheered on the fact that a dark-skinned woman, was cast for the part. As a result of her stellar performance in this debut acting role, she was able to convince audiences that all skin is beautiful, and skin colour really doesn’t matter.
In the beauty industry, Idia’s role as a brand influencer for popular brands, such as Lancome, Black Opal, B Natural Med Spa, and more, is also contributing to the movement against colourism.
As an international model, Idia has graced the catwalk for African designers like Maki Oh, Ituen Basi, Deola Sagoe, Lanre Da Silva, and more, at numerous prestigious Fashion Week events all around the world, thereby contributing to breaking the stereotype that only women with certain skin tones can shine on the runway. She has further pushed this narrative while modelling for US-based designers like Alice + Olivia, J Brand, Cashhimi, Samantha Pleet, Jovani, Evelyn Lambert, Danny Nguyen, Sarah Bacehus, Undeeillion by Rachel Walters, Nikki Angelique and An Alili.
Idia is truly an inspiration. Wanna get to know her better? Follow her on Instagram: @idia.aisien