Black People With Blue Eyes

by Duke Magazine

Have you ever seen a Black man or woman with blue eyes? What was your initial reaction? Beholding the sight of a blue-eyed person can be dazzling, as their eye color is far from the regulars, but can be very fascinating. 

This experience is not totally different from the reaction of certain Nigerian parents that gave birth to a blonde hair/blue-eyed baby girl in London some years back. When the husband saw the baby, he was shocked. If it wasn’t that he trusted his wife so much, their marriage could have become history at least until a DNA test verified the paternity of the baby.

Today, many believe that those with blue eyes or other non-brown eyes are not of African descent, and if they are, they must be wearing colored contact lenses. There are other fears that have been expressed when it comes to people with blue eyes.

Some have said people with blue eyes are evil. Others want to know if people with blue eyes lack concentration, see well, or if it affects their level of hearing. Some of these fears are unsubstantiated, but other speculations, such as its effect on hearing, seem to be true.

Nigerian parents who gave birth to a White baby in 2010

Generally, however, contrary to the opinion of many people, having blue eyes is not the exclusive preserve of Asians or Europeans; Black Africans can also have blue eyes, and there are many explanations for this.

First, one can have blue eyes as a result of a genetic mutation. As explained by, “a single mutation which arose as recently as 6,000 to 10,000 years ago was responsible for all the blue eyed people alive on Earth today.”

This was a revelation by a team of researchers from Copenhagen University. The team, whose research is published in the Journal of Human Genetics, identified a single mutation in a gene called “OCA2,” which arose by chance somewhere around the northwest coast of the Black Sea in one single individual about 8,000 years ago.

Blue eyes also come about when a person of African ancestry has Caucasian relatives on both sides of the family who are carriers of the gene for that particular eye color.

Apart from genetic mutation, blue eyes can also be caused by Waardenburg Syndrome, a deficiency inherited from a single parent who may display similar characteristics. There are different types of Waardenburg Syndrome, but essentially, it is a rare disease characterized by sensorinuerial deafness in association with pigmentary anomalies and defects of neutral-crest-derived tissues.

Some have also suggested that blue eyes are a result of ancient interbreeding with the Neanderthals, who went into extinction about 25,000 years ago. Another theory suggested in Afritorial, states that blonde hair and blue eyes arose because of a mechanism called “sex selection,” where males and females choose their mates based on one unusual physical characteristic that is not necessarily associated with fitness.

An African woman with hazel eyes

It is noteworthy to infer, however, that having blue eyes is not diabolic or evil and the only way to know if someone has natural or artificial blue eyes is to ask the person.

Just recently, the uncovering story of a blue-eyed Nigerian woman and her kids broke out. Risikat Azeez with her two kids, Kaosarat and Hassanat were spotted with an unusual eye color in Kwara State, Nigeria. With a reported prejudice from her husband, whereby she and her kids were estranged, the mother and children’s eye color have attracted much support from people across board.

Nigerian Risikat Azeez and her kids

There are a lot of notable Black celebrities with natural eye colors other than black or brown, including Rihanna, Tyra Banks, Vanessa Williams, and more. Evidence of blue-eyed Africans also abounds throughout Africa, including South Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, and more.

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