Born in Gambela, Ethiopia, the native of Southern Sudan, Nyakim Gatwech (27), finally made it into the Guinness Book Of Records for having the darkest complexion on earth. Gatwech is known for her naturally dark skin color and has been dubbed the ‘Queen of the Dark’.
The model has faced self-esteem issues and comments from people who promote bleaching to lighten skin color but has learned to embrace her beauty and pigmentation with love, thanks also to the support of her fans.
Who is Nyakim Gatwech?
While her country is in the throes of a civil war, her family fled to Ethiopia, then to Kenya where they lived in camps, before going into exile in the United States. She was then only 14 years old. Once in the United States, Nyakim Gatwech had the chance to study at Minneapolis Community College. However, participating in a local fashion show gave her ideas and she became interested in this activity.
As a model, her deep black skin earned her a nickname, “The queen of the dark”, and sometimes she was subjected to quibbles and racist remarks in Western countries, including in the modeling profession. Proud of her origins, these hostile and degrading reactions against her have thus strengthened her determination.
Now 27 years old, Nyakim Gatwech is more determined than ever to pursue her modeling career and become a primary school teacher. But, she still remembers those hard years in middle school. “When I was in middle school, I didn’t know how to deal with the negative comments I received on a daily basis,” she revealed in one of her interviews.
“At the time, the way I dealt with negative comments was either to lock myself up in my room and cry or to try to fight people who said bad things about me. I knew that didn’t solve anything. Locking myself in my room made me depressed and fighting back would get me suspended from school,” she recalls bitterly.
“My problems weren’t solved, so I told my sister, ‘The kids make fun of me because of my complexion. What do I do? I want to whiten [my skin] and all that’. She told me that [skin whitening] was not the right way to do it.” Advice that she followed, and which, she says, helped her to remain what she is: the blackest person on the planet. Which is why she is now listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.