A young woman from in Senegal named Marième gets her gums tattooed black.
*We see plenty of beauty trends come and go. Some of the trends are gone in a season.
The latest “beauty” trend out of West Africa may never catch on in America though…for more reasons than you might think.
The Senegalese women have long had a tradition of tattooing their gums black. The idea is that the darker the gums, the brighter the teeth, thus a much more attractive smile.
According to the village woman that performs the procedure for the girls in the community, red gums are unacceptable because …
*During a recent return to his native Senegal to perform at the World Festival of Black Arts, rapper/singer Akon spoke out about the need for Africa to unite in order to move forward and keep up with the rest of the world, reports The AFP.
“Things like this actually create the environment for us to move together as one people. The more we realize what we can do together as a unit, the further we will get as an African nation,” he said during a press conference on Thursday.
“The one thing we always lack is unity, we always stay segregated. Even though Africa is one of the biggest continents, we never stay together as a people.”
Akon, born Alioune Thiam, also told reporters that he was appearing in the country for free in order to further the cause.
“The kind of money I am actually paid for a concert is nothing Senegal would really be able to afford. It’s about uplifting the people,” he explained.
“If I can get the economy up to where it needs to go in Senegal, then I can do freakin’ shows here all the time and get paid what I am worth.”
*Singer Akon is reportedly using his own money to open an educational facility in Senegal though his Konfidence Foundation charity, which he set up to create a better future for African children.
The plan, he tells Allhiphop.com, is to eventually launch more teaching centers across Senegal, including a university.
“It all strung from concept of creating a better future for the kids in Africa. I started realizing as I was growing up and as I was coming up in this business, I allowed myself to be educated, period,” said Akon, who was born in the U.S. and raised in Senegal. “And I think that was the moment where I became more of an entrepreneur; I understood what the essence of business was.
“You start to realize education really is the key. You (have) just got to allow yourself to absorb the information and properly use it. With that thought in mind, when we created the Konfidence Foundation, it was more so to find a platform to educate all these children so that they can have a better future with what’s left to develop in Africa. We built my first elementary school in Senegal, which is an incredible accomplishment because I did it with my own money, my tour money and did it myself.”