Pearl Thusi and Bonnie Mbuli engage in messy twar over colourism

Pearl Thusi and Bonnie Mbuli engage in messy twar over colourism

"A lot of actresses also upset because God keeps choosing me and they believe I'm not worthy," says Pearl Thusi.

Pearl Thusi
Peart Thusi/ Instagram

Things got ugly between Pearl Thusi and Bonnie Mbuli on Twitter this week.

The actresses were involved in a heated exchange about colourism, which is "discrimination based on the shade of an individual's skin tone, typically favouring lighter skin". 

The debate started shortly after Sho Madjozi won the 'Best New International Act' award at the 2019 BET Awards.

ALSO READ: Watch: Cardi B congratulates Sho Madjozi on her BET win

A Twitter user said Sho Madjozi would not have been so successful if she was not a light-skinned black woman. 

"A guy from Limpopo was attacked for tweeting that if Sho Madjozi was a dark-skinned Tsonga girl she’ll not be as successful. And I think it’s disingenuous of those who attacked him to be oblivious of the historic fact that mixed race women have it more easy than dark skinned women."

Another user replied: "This is true. If she were dark. No one wd entertain her talent which is not really there to begin with if u think about it. Js like my home girl Pearl Thusi = no talent."

Pearl was less than impressed with the comment. 

"15 years of hard work I've put in means Jack s**t here. It's incredible how your entire being can all come down to your skin colour. I dare them to say this about the likes of... Beyonce, Diana Ross, Angela Davis. As if there wasn't an Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Miriam Makeba." 

Sho Madjosi also hit back at her critics. 

The debate about colourism raged on all week, with stars such as Bonnie Mbuli, Gigi Lamayne, Boity, and DJ Zinhle all weighing in.

While Pearl acknowledged that colourism was an issue, she refused to allow people to "discount" her story and the hard work she has put in to get where she is today.

“I've lost many jobs to dark skinned women. Because I didn't fit the mould of a real black woman for people. And other times because that woman was more beautiful or talented. Being light won't get you there and keep you there, you need to work. And work harder to prove that point.”

Bonnie shared her views in a tweet that many felt was directed at Pearl, though, she did not mention the former 'Quantico' star's name.

The 40-year-old said that "dark-skinned actors have a smaller pool of roles to choose from”, and often have to play slaves or diseased refugees. 

"So when a light-skinned actress complains abt the one or two roles they didn’t get coz they weren’t dark enuf; I’m like but the part ur crying abt was being the slave who gets raped and beat up in the thing, ppl who look like u have never had to be in that position to begin with."

Pearl did not take kindly to Bonnie's comments.

“You have absolutely no clue which other parts I didn't get but because it makes you feel better to believe my acting career is working out only because I'm light skinned. And for someone who survived depression and wrote a book about it you sure have love spreading negativity," she tweeted.

Bonnie told Pearl to stop making the colourism debate about herself.

"Pearl, this isn’t about you, you can’t place yourself at the centre of such a huge issue, it can’t be reduced to a twar, I don’t know your shoe size but if you feel like it fits, then wear it!"

Pearl accused Bonnie of reducing her to a "nameless light-skinned actress". 

She added in a separate tweet that many local actresses have questioned her talent. 

"[A] lot of actresses are also upset because God keeps choosing me and they believe I'm not worthy. I know how much more talented u believe you are. All the whispers always make it back to me. I know who u are & I know what u've said. I smile & pray God blesses & heals u."

Many celebrities came to Pearl's defence. 

"So what are we saying here guys? What can my light skinned friend do to make this right? Not go after her dreams? Also, did she choose to look the way she does? Already worried my my Kairo," her best friend DJ Zinhle commented. 

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