YAY for Friday am I right?
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
This week we have a situation where one half of the couple would prefer to remain anonymous – which is totally cool. Enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do, what you like to spend your time on etc
I’m Kendra and I am eighteen years old. I’m in matric at Wynberg Girls High School and I am currently writing my National Senior Certificate. I have a passion for photography and writing and I have my own blog – The Mind Of Kendra – and I am also an entrepreneur – I started my business last year which involves child and pet care services. I love working with children, and I am involved in children’s ministry at my church. Next year I am doing an apprenticeship at my church in children’s ministry, and then I plan on studying theology and early childhood development. I’m an introvert, but I love meaningful relationships. Sometimes, I’m a living contradiction.
Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc
My boyfriend is also eighteen years old. He loves photography and working with children. We both serve in children’s ministry – that’s actually how we met and grew closer. He plays the trumpet, loves to draw and enjoys having debates on anything to do with language. He practically is my editor for my blog and he saves me from all my typos (he will probably correct something here too haha). He is too an introvert, but enjoys talking and getting to know people. Next year, both of us plan to work so we can build our future.
Give us a bit of insight into your **racial**/cultural backgrounds.
I am coloured and he is white. We often tease each other and say “Typical white person” or “Typical coloured person” haha.
Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?
We both still live at home, but next year we plan on getting married and obviously living together.
I know babies may not be on the cards right now, but do you have any fears/excitement about having “mixed race” babies in the future?
Considering we both love children, we definitely want to have children later on in our lives. We always talk about having mixed children, so I would say we are extremely excited to have children that will have both of our races. We have no fear towards it.
What kind of role does race play in your relationship?
Not much, we see beyond our skin colour because we love each other. We definitely do recognise our race, but it doesn’t define us.
How have your families reacted to your relationship and desire to marry/marriage?
From what we have seen, race isn’t an issue, our age is. (Sigh)
(Ed’s note – I had the same problem!!)
Are there big differences in your relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture? What you eat, how you do things – please feel free to share here.
Well, he hasn’t had a gatsby before and I haven’t been to lots of places he has been to. It’s exciting because we both get to experience things that we haven’t before.
What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your boyfriend about this issue?
People don’t always say something, people can be too nervous or uncertain to confront us, but they stare. White girls and guys stare at my boyfriend like “Why are you with a coloured girl, you should be with a white girl,” and the same with people of colour for me.
What do you think we can do to combat this ignorance/stupidity?
We can be open about it and make it normal. Race shouldn’t matter because it’s literally just a colour, yes the culture and background may be different, but love is what counts and we should show people that.
Do you have any advice for those in a mixed race relationship that are facing judgement because of it?
Embrace it. It’s your relationship, not anyone else’s. I know you will care about what others say, but you have your partner if no one else supports you. When people stare at us, we joke about it together and call it “the Look,” it’s our relationship and we can just laugh, we’re happy.
Especially if you are a Christian, pray about it. Many racists use the word of God as a means to “prove” that mixing of races is against God. It is not. The mixing of one’s personal beliefs and faith in Christ IS, though. We must be equally yoked in Christ, for our identity is first in him, not merely our skin colour.