Hey hey! It’s Friday!
I’m glad that you’re back to read the next installment in our series. If this is the first time you’re joining us – WELCOME, it’s good to have you. Here are the other features in case you want to catch up.
Here’s a little bit of background as to why I want to do this series and why I want YOU to read it and share it with your friends. I am one half of a mixed race marriage (if you want to read my story, check it out here) and we have had our fair share of adjusting to this new life that is often not accepted by everyone.
Besides the odd intentional racist, I feel like a lot of the hurtful comments floating around are actually just brought about through ignorance about how their words will affect other people. Thinking only of our own personal situations with little regard for others, because that’s all that we know. So in an effort to broaden what we know, I thought I would interview a wide range of South Africans that have a variety of different situations – from mixed race couples to single race couples that adopt cross racially to couples that share the same “race” but differ vastly in terms of culture. A bit of a mumble jumble of everything really.
So let’s get started!
If you would like to join in and be featured in this series or know of someone that would, please feel free to get in touch with me on email@example.com.
I want this to be a safe space where we can share stories and encourage each other to be more accepting of our fellow South Africans of all races, cultures and situations. So while I want to encourage you to comment and open a discussion, I will not tolerate any abusive or troll like comments here.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do, what you like to spend your time on etc
My name is Ana… I am 32 years old… I am a stock controller at one of the biggest hospital’s in the country. I enjoy spending time alone with a good book. I would love to be a full time mom, at the moment I feel like I am losing out so much on my children’s life. They have all these extra murals and I cannot attend as I work full day and cannot get off so often. Would love to start a small business… so that I can have more time with my children.
- Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc
My husband’s name is Louis… he is a branch manager at cash Crusaders… He started cycling about 4 years ago… loves the gym and love to play sport with the kids.
- How and when did you meet your partner?
He is my high school sweetheart… I met him when I was in std 7 in August 1997. He was already working but he was my love through high school 🙂 … we are 8 years apart.
- Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds.
We don’t have much differences with regards to racial/cultural backgrounds. I think our biggest challenge is the language barrier. My parents don’t speak much English so communication between hubby and them is very little. My in laws don’t speak English at all so the kids and I don’t communicate with them at all as we don’t speak Creol.
- Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?
We live in Linmeyer, south of Johannesburg. We have never felt left out by society by being an interracial couple. We have been to Mauritius and Portugal on holiday and not once felt left out or looked at any different.
- Tell us all about your kids – brag a bit – it’s OK 😉
I have two children Rafael is 8 and Tatiana is 7… they are my world… they know that mommy is white and daddy is brown :). When they draw pictures of us as a family they colour dad brown and mom “skin colour”. They have never asked us until this year what race there are. This year Rafael had a teacher which said he is coloured and he came home very cross and said to me: mommy teacher said I am coloured and I don’t agree with her. So I asked Rafael why, and he said because I am the same colour as you and not daddy so I am white. I then said what do you want to be… he said I want to be white because I am not dark like daddy. We accepted that. We want them to choose want they want to be. Tatiana said she does not care about the colour of anyone’s skin.
- How do you and your partner view race in your relationship? What kind of role does it play in your family? Does it even feature?
I don’t think it features at all. We have never said to each other because you are white or because you are colourd.
- Are there big differences in your marriage relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture?
Being both Catholics it helps a lot. There are not that much cultural differences.
- How have your families reacted to your relationship?
My family were horrified when they found out. My parents thought it was the end of the world. The whole Portuguese community will talk that their daughter was involved with a “black man”. My parents and my older sister did everything in their power to keep us apart. We went through a very hard time but our loved survived it :). My in laws live in Mauritius so I don’t think that it matted to them if their son was involved with a person from a different race and culture.
- What kind of experiences have you or your partner had when you have been out with your kids (alone with them or together as a family)?
Hubby gets very upset when people stare at the kids… I don’t think people do it on purpose I just think that they wonder that here is an interracial marriage and the kids don’t look mixed race.
- What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your husband about this issue?
My sister once asked what will our children be classified as? When my daughter was born my mother phoned me to congratulate me and at the same time she asked what colour is Tatiana.
- Did you have any fears about parenting mixed race children before you had them?
- Have any of those fears changed since becoming a Mommy/Daddy to kids with mixed genes?
Yes… after Rafael came home and asked what race is he, I do. I can never tell my children who to date or marry as we are different. I don’t want them to ever feel different from other children.
- Do you have any advice for those new to this experience?
Yes… don’t worry what other people say or do… if you know it’s right then fight for it. People will always be too ugly and it will always hurt but no one can have the love that the two of you have for one another. Your children will be your children and they will love it that they have two different parents 🙂
Like what you’ve read here? That’s flipping awesome – feel free to share it with your friends. Also come hang out with me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram where you can expect to find a whole lot more of this, just shorter.