It was just bad make-up - Dis-Chem store manager on 'blackface' mannequin

The mannequin that was displayed at the Killarney branch
The mannequin that was displayed at the Killarney branch

The staff member that did the viral "black face" make-up job at a Killarney Mall Dis-Chem store has been identified as black by store manager Tarryl Moonsamy.

Moonsamy, who was questioned by 702 host Eusebius McKaiser, said the employee wanted to show her "African culture". “The mannequin definitely was done distastefully and was a bad make-up job done by one of the staff members within the store,” she said.

Last week, Sowetan reported that a white mannequin with brown make-up was put in front of the store as part of its new African beauty campaign. “The theme was African beauty fair and that is what we went along with. One of the staff members took her own initiative to start creating a display,” said Moonsamy.

She said after she saw it she immediately removed it because it looked wrong.

McKaiser asked her what looked wrong to her about it. “The make-up job was definitely done wrong. We shouldn’t have done any make-up, she is a mannequin,” she said. “We never wanted it to seem like it was anything political, anything racial, anything like that,” she said.

Moonsamy said Dis-Chem does not have mannequins and it was brought to the store by the unnamed employee. Dis-Chem’s marketing operations coordinator, Obakeng Modubu, previously told Sowetan that the company knew nothing about the campaign run by the Killarney Mall branch. “We know nothing about this. We never use mannequins in store and we will be looking into it. I have forwarded the issue to head office,” she said.


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