Nigel was a huge fan of Vybz Kartel with the word “Gaza” tattooed on his stomach when he started bleaching his skin. A decade later, the scars on his face, arms and neck are a testament of his regret.
“I started bleaching when I was 15 years. I was a sheep and the world boss was my shepherd. I wanted to look like Vybz Kartel,” he said.
Nigel said he started off using cake soap because that was what Vybz Kartel claimed to be using. After not getting any results from cake soap, he switched to a variety of creams and gels to get his body to shed its dark skin. These creams would cost him over 10,000 JMD every month. But when he started seeing bumps on his skin in January, he went to the doctor; that cost him even more.
“I started seeing some small bumps at first, but after a few days they started getting bigger, and started looking like sores, on my face, my neck and on my hand. So I went to the doctor, she ran a test and said it’s because of the creams,” Nigel said. “So she gave me an injection, antibiotics, and two things to rub on my skin. And it cost me a lot, over 20,000.”
Nigel admits that he saw the effects of bleaching on his skin five years ago but continued to bleach because at that point looking like Vybz Kartel was more important than his health.
But this time he said it will be different.
“Honestly, I no longer want to look like Vybz Kartel, I am my own man. I don’t even think the Black Vybz Kartel wants to look like the white Vybz Kartel anymore,” he said.
“For me, it’s a good thing because I now know the dangers of the chemicals, I’ve been through it. Now that I experience what it do to my skin, no more bleaching to my skin,” he said.