If you have black skin, you can still get sunburnt. Although you may not get as sunburnt as someone with pale, freckled skin, the risk is still there.

The reason why black people don’t get as burnt as white people, is because black people have higher concentrations of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to skin. Melanin serves as a natural defence against harsh UV rays and although it does provide some protection from the sun, it doesn’t prevent skin cancer.

In fact, did you know that Bob Marley did from skin cancer? Although it is rare for black people to get melanoma, which is what Bob Marley had, if they do have it, they are more likely to die or get complications from it.

Normally melanoma shows itself on areas of the body that get regular sun exposure. Unfortunately for those with darker skin, melanoma tends to show up in less-typical places such as the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and the fingernail bed.

Bob Marley was diagnosed with malignant melanoma under his toenail. He refused to amputate his foot due to his religious beliefs and over the course of a few years, his cancer had spread to his brain, lung and liver. He died on May 11, 1981 at 36 years old.

Remembering Bob Marley is a reminder that anyone, regardless of age or skin colour, can develop melanoma. The misconception that black people can’t get skin colour and that melanoma would show in area of the body that is usually exposed to the sun often leads to late diagnosis with fatal consequences.

Sapos skin blong yu hemi black, yu no mas ting se sun hemi no save burnem yu. Ting ting gud, wearem wan hat mo protectem skin blong yu wetem clothes we hemi save protectem yu. Sapos yu gat smol money, go pem wan sunscreen blong pharmacy.

Sapos yu luk wan samting we hemi difren lo skin blong yu, go luk wan doctor. Sun blong Vanuatu hemi strong – yu mas protectem skin blong yu.