Happy happy Friday folks!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if the last couple of months has taught me of anything, it’s that although we think race is no longer a “big issue” – it really freaking is. So I hope that now, more than ever, these stories about real people that have overcome this problem, will help those that are still struggling to move past our awful history.
Today we’ve interviewing Moipone whom I met on a mixed race discussion issue on one of the Mommy Groups on Facebook. Here she is tell us her story.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do, what you like to spend your time on etc
My name is Moipone I work as a Receptionist/Debt collector – basically I am everywhere. I love my television, I am a series junkie (so is my daughter). We share the TV cartoons then my movie, that’s how we spend our weekends.
- Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc
His name is Shaiful and he is a business man. If he is not at work, he is home. Not really outgoing, much more of an workaholic.
- Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds.
Shaiful is an Indian like 100 % and I am black
- Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?
We live right in the heart of Johannesburg, in Newtown. Absolutely! When we go to a place and I get an unfriendly vibe, we never go there again. I don’t like going where we are not accepted, I’d rather stay home.
- Tell us all about your kids – brag a bit – it’s OK 😉
My princess is Abeerah, I love her so much. She is 6 years old and just started Grade 1. I sometimes think she is too sensitive to things because she gets hurt easily, but I also love that she speaks her mind. I always tell her she talks too much and she says to me, “hashtag I was born like that”. She is my best friend in whole universe.
- 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?
Race does not feature in our marriage
- Are there big differences in your marriage relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture?
Yes, in my culture man pay lobola to the wife’s family and in his culture the woman must pay the man’s family dowry it became a huge debate.
- How have your families reacted to your relationship?
Oh my goodness, when my father found out that I was dating my husband he literally threw me out of the house and told me that he does not want Makulu (slang for Indian grandchildren) and I have not spoken to my father in 7 to 8 years now. He was not even there when I got married. My mother had difficulty at first, especially after my daughter was born. Going in public with Abeerah, she always wanted her to wear a hat to hide her hair because people would stare and ask where we got the child and it made her uncomfortable.
- 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)?
95 % horrible experiences as every time you will find people asking questions in an unfriendly way. They would ask if Abeerah was my daughter and where did I get her because she does not look like me. They would even say I was lying about her being mine, they’d say that she is my boss’s child and that I am trying to act smart with them.
The other day at the Home Affairs, one man asked me what the hell is wrong with black men that I went to have a baby with an Indian. He went on preaching on how the bible forbids us from mixing, I should be with a black man as you will never find a bird having a monkey’s child. It was so horrible, I just kept quiet because I believe if I had answered him it would be disrespectful and he was older than me.
The 5% is kinder when asking questions about my daughter and they would say, “Wow, she looks like you – it’s just that her hair and complexion is not the same, she is mixed neh”.
- What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your husband about this issue?
“Why the hell would I marry an Indian, because they stink because of the food they eat”, that is what my fellow black African sisters and brothers think of Asian, white people they say they stink funny. For their information since I have met my husband he has never used a deodorant and has never smelled.
- What do you think we can do to combat this ignorance/stupidity?
People need to accept that the apartheid era is long gone with the exception of those who are still racist. A person can and may love and marry whomever they want. They need to understand that there is nothing wrong when two people from different races love each other and make babies. It is completely normal and we need to spread more love and acceptance than hate.
- 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?
Honestly I had no fears, all that was in my head was that I want her to have my nose and her father’s hair. I never thought it could be so difficult until one day she came to me said there other child said she is coloured is that true? I seriously do not like that word “coloured”, I prefer mixed. Besides, I don’t want to classify her, I want her to grow into her own person and most importantly love it, as some kids hate being mixed.
- Do you have any advice for those new to this experience?
Don’t let other people’s stupidity get you down because at the end of the day you are living for yourself not for what the person thinks about you. Unique is awesome – rock it and embrace it .
Is this is the first time you’re joining us? If it is, a big fat WELCOME, it’s good to have you stop by. Fancy catching up on all these other interviews that you have missed? Here are the other features – make yourself a hot cup of the good stuff, and settle in for some reading.
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.