In Cameroon, when you want to talk about a woman who has been whitening her skin with bleaching products, you say that she is a “ndjansam” fan. This is actually an ingredient often used to cook spicy stews. How come this blond seed is associated to bleaching? It is only because of its yellow or yellowish colour.
The term ndjansam is simply the new word for every Cameroonians to talk about women who were previously black and have bleached their skin as time went with body lotions. Before that, they were called “fanta-coca”, in reference to the famous orange and black sodas.
Indeed, ndjansam is not one of the ingredients which lighten the skin. On her anti-bleaching blog and Facebook page, Nélie Ngassam, 55 years and pharmacist, warns against whitening ingredients. She lists among others: hydroquinone, some plant components such as white mulberry and bearberry which, she insists, “are powerful whitening active components”. So, no need to create essential oils from ndjansam and hope to whiten your skin or lighten your complexion.
Monique Ngo Mayag