Clicks Group non-executive director Nonkululeko Gobodo on Tuesday said she was leaving the retail pharmacy company on a matter of principle because its recent racist advert went against her values.
Gobodo resigned from the board on Monday.
Clicks has been at the centre of angry and often violent protests after it published a racist ad on its website labelling black hair as “dry, frizzy and damaged” and labelled white hair as “normal”.
Last week, Gobodo said that she had raised a red flag with management a few months ago over the way the company was communicating with black customers. She said that Clicks alone shouldn’t take the fall for the advert as the retailer merely published the content that TRESemmé had created.
She said that contrary to some speculation she was not pushed out from the Clicks board, but she could not stay on because of her other initiatives.
“The events of the past few days came to a place of being in direct conflict with an initiative that I’ve started called Awakened around racism and prejudice against women. It’s something that I’m passionate about,” Gobodo said.
She said that she was leaving Clicks because she wanted to be free to pursue her initiatives.
“I want to be free to pursue my initiatives. I don’t want to limit what I say because I’m afraid of the impact on Clicks. Clicks must go through their journey of repairing the damage and I want to go on my journey of putting firmly on the table and the agenda of the country the issue of racism and prejudice against women,” she said.
Gobodo said that she was deeply affected by the racist ad published on the retailer’s website.
“What happened last week was very sad [and] it affected me personally. As a black woman, I felt disrespected by that advert and it is something that I cannot deny how deeply it affected me,” she said.
Gobodo insisted that big corporates needed to learn how to speak to black customers and recognise that they paid the companies’ bills.
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