Who is Jackie Aina? Sòrò Sókè candle controversy explained as Nigerian YouTuber comes under fire online
In honour of Jackie Aina’s 34th birthday, scented candles were released on August 4 by the beauty, cosmetics, and self-care company Forvr Mood, owned by the Nigerian-American YouTuber. Sr. Sókè, No Wahala, Soft Life, and Spice of Life are the four fragrances offered by the collection.
Since 2017, the youth in Nigeria have banded against police brutality and organized mass protests which called for the disbandment of the controversial unit Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). During the protest, online campaigns utilized hashtags like #EndSARS and #SòròSókè.
As pointed out by a legion of tweets criticizing her, Jackie Aina used the sensitive slogan to market her product. Meanwhile, a few claimed that Aina was reportedly silent during the actual protests or when the casualties of the protest were announced.
Jackie Aina knows EXACTLY what she’s doing.
That woman has been creating content for 15+ years.
She most likely planned for all of this backlash (which is just free promo to her) and already has an apology/retraction waiting.
At least now, more Nigerians know her candles. Shame.
— Dodo (@dodobabs_) August 5, 2022
This Jackie Aina situation really re-confirms why influencer culture will never be ethical. It’s hinged on marketing and selling products. So yeah, aestheticising your culture to sell candles makes sense in that aspect.
— Zuva Seven (@ZuvaSeven) August 5, 2022
— Church Girl, Bad Girl (@SosoTheWanderer) August 5, 2022
Jackie Aina was in the military and has continued to use her large platform to promote American imperialism. It's not surprising she'd do the morally unconscionable thing and find any opportunity to profit from others' suffering.
— ••• (@shaahzaadii) August 5, 2022
Lmao didn’t Jackie aina once defend her non black friend for cosplaying as a black woman w/ Afro wigs 😭
— in a panoramic? (@_haaniyah_) August 5, 2022
Jackie Aina is disgusting for that. Her and her fellow Nigerian American celebs were digitally flogged to speak up… constantly using Nigerianess for profit but mute when your own need you. Nasty. The lot of them.
— Troublemaker of Zion – W N C (@PreciousGNSD) August 5, 2022
Jackie aina naming one of her candles soro soke is the second most tone deaf crap I’ve seen all year. The first is the white woman naming her book soro soke. A mess
— 👩🏾💻 (@_Etibaby) August 5, 2022
Due to the association between the term “Sr. Sókè” and divisive protests in Nigeria, this has generated a great deal of controversy. The term is of Yoruban (West African ethnic group) origin and means “Speak Up!” or “Don’t be silent.”
Why did the Sòrò Sókè title for the candle collection cause such controversy for Jackie Aina?
Many young people ran campaigns against them because the original protest was against the alleged brutality of the Nigerian police, particularly from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) units. As of July 2020, there were approximately 28 million featured tweets being shared on the platform, according to Quartz Africa.
After the SARS unit was disbanded on October 11, 2020, protests against the alleged murders, assaults, and ongoing harassment by SARS officials in Nigeria are still ongoing.
However, the protests allegedly resulted in a significant number of fatalities just nine days after the dissolvent, according to the BBC. President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria reportedly claimed that 69 people had died as a result of the protests, according to a BBC News report. 51 civilians, 11 police officers, and even seven soldiers were killed in the casualties.
As a result, the term “Sr. Sókè” and its hashtag have become associated with a tragic event and a divisive protest in Nigeria. Since protests have continued for about five years, some people of Nigerian descent are sensitive to the use of such slogans and hashtags.
Jackie Aina is a former professional makeup artist turned YouTuber, according to her website. The 35-year-old had been interested in makeup since she was a teenager and entered the field on a professional level in 2009.
After graduating from the Vidal Sassoon Academy and earning her licence as a cosmetologist, Aina went on to work with MAC and Bobbi Brown cosmetics. The US Army veteran reportedly spent five years working as a freelance makeup artist. She enlisted in the Army in 2008, serving two years in the reserve army.
In addition, Jackie Aina launched her makeup and beauty YouTube channel in 2009, and over the course of 13 years, it has amassed over 3.56 million subscribers. The Los Angeles native, who is of Nigerian descent, was born there in the United States. Aina’s father is from Yoruba, Nigeria, and her mother is African-American.
This would explain why the YouTuber chose the term “Sr Sókè” to describe the scent of her candle collection. According to Hellogiggles, Jackie Aina had collaborated with a number of cosmetic and clothing companies, including Sephora, Sigma Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and e.l.f. Cosmetics.
The statement read as follows, as stated on her website:
“Jackie keeps upping the ante on beauty standards, one video at a time. Her goal is to teach both men and women how to feel good every day in addition to looking good.
Aina also owns her own lifestyle, beauty, and self-care brand, FORVR, as was previously mentioned.
Nigerian Job [Apply Now]
- Access Bank Entry Level Recruitment & Internship Job Vacancies (4 Positions)
- KDSG Teachers Recruitment of 10,000 Graduates : How to Apply, KDSG Jobs Login Portal, KDSG SUBEB News
- Nigerian Navy Recruitment 2022 Exercise for SSCE, OND, NCE Application Guidelines
- FBN General Insurance Graduate Trainee Massive Recruitment