I know what you’re thinking.
But you’re wrong.
Today is not a normal Friday. Oh no. Today we celebrate Seths 31st year in this World. At the risk of laying out the cheese platter, I just have to say that there is no one else I would rather wake with every morning. Seth, you are my rock and sometimes my hard place. Gosh that sounds wrong. But you know what I mean, we’ve weathered many storms and I’d still choose you every single time. You really are a gift to me and our children and we are so glad that you show up and take your roles in our lives seriously. I love you and look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you in the future, you know as you catch up to me with all your grey hair.
Didn’t know you’d be cheesing it up so much on a Friday did you? Me neither.
Let’s get back to the other focus of today. Our interview with Chrisandra. I’ve lost track with how we met, but I am glad that she is sharing her story with us today.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do, what you like to spend your time on etc-
MY NAME IS CHRISANDRA , I’M 25 YEARS OLD , CURRENTLY I AM A STAY AT HOME MOM BUT I DO HELP MY BOYFRIEND WITH HIS BUSINESS. I LOVE LISTENING TO MUSIC, WATCHING TV, BEING ON THE INTERNET. I LOVE THE OUTDOORS, I LOVE SPENDING TIME WITH PEOPLE – I HATE BEING LONELY.
Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc-
MY BOYFRIEND IS 40 , HE IS A JACK OF ALL TRADES TO BE HONEST, BUT HE HAD A SHOP THAT SELLS AUTOMOTIVE PAINT AND ACCESSORIES AND HE ALSO HAS A PANELBEATING AND SPRAYPAINTING WORKSHOP. HE ENJOYS A DRINK WITH HIS FRIENDS AND HE IS A VERY PLEASANT CONTENT PERSON.
Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds. –
I’M A CATHOLIC WE BELIEVE IN GETTING MARRIED FIRST AND THEN HAVING KIDS AND MOVING IN AND THAT THE MAN HAS TO CHANGE HIS RELIGION TO THE WOMEN’S RELIGION
Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?-
I STAY IN JOHANNESBURG MALVERN. NO IT DOESN’T, BECAUSE I DON’T CARE WHAT PEOPLE THINK. I’M SO USED TO BEING AROUND DIFFERENT RACES, IT DOESN’T BOTHER ME. HOWEVER IT DOES BOTHER MY BOYFRIEND BECAUSE HE HATES HOW PEOPLE STARE
Tell us all about your kids – brag a bit – it’s OK ;)-
I HAVE A LITTLE GIRL, HER NAME IS GABRIELLA JERITHA TELES THANDEKA MLOTSHWA , SHE IS MY 1ST BORN AND I LOVE HER SOOOO MUCH. SHE HAS BROUGHT SO MUCH JOY TO MY LIFE, SHE IS 11 WEEKS OLD AND HER FATHER LOVES HER JUST AS MUCH. RECENTLY SHE STARTED COOING AND GIGGLING AND SMILING I ACTUALLY SHED A TEAR WHEN I LOOK AT HER.
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?
MY PARTNER AND I LOVE EACH OTHER TO DEATH WE WOULDN’T LEAVE EACH OTHER FOR NOTHING. WE ARE EACH OTHERS STEPPING STONES AND PILLAR OF STRENGTHS, WE HAVE FACED MANY CHALLENGES.
Are there big differences in your marriage relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture?
NO , WE NOT MARRIED YET BUT I DOUBT THERE WILL BE ANY.
How have your families reacted to your relationship?
WHEN IT COMES TO MY FAMILY ACCEPTING HIM THEY HAVE LITERALLY WRITTEN ME OFF. IT HURTS BUT I’VE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY IN MY LIFE. MY FAMILY DIDN’T CARE WHEN I WAS COMPLAINING ABOUT MY WHITE FIANCE BEATING ME UP SO WHY THEY CRYING WHEN I’M DATING A BLACK MAN WHO GIVES ME EVERYTHING MY HEART DESIRES. I’M SHORT OF NOTHING, HIS FAMILY LOVES ME AND I SPEND MOST OF MY TIME WITH THEM.
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)?
WHEN WE GO OUT WITH OUR DAUGHTER EVERYONE STOPS AND LOOKS AT HER AND SAYS SHE IS SO BEAUTIFUL, BUT THAT SHE LOOKS LIKE HER DADDY LOL. ONCE A LADY SAID THE CHILD WASN’T MINE AND SOMEONE ONCE SAID TO ME, WHEN I WAS ALONE, THAT THE CHILD HAS SUCH A LOVELY SKIN TONE , LOL , I THEN TOLD HER MY DAUGHTER HAS A BLACK DADDY. ONCE WE WERE AT THE HOSPITAL HE WAS ALONE WITH THE BABY AND THEY THOUGHT HE WAS TRYING TO KIDNAP THE BABY.
What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your husband about this issue?
THAT HE IS A MONKEY, THAT I SHOULD HAVE AN ABORTION, WHAT WILL OUR CHILD LOOK LIKE AND THAT WE WILL GO NOWHERE IN LIFE.
What do you think we can do to combat this ignorance/stupidity?
NOTHING BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STUPID AND WE SHOULDN’T EVEN WAIST OUR TIME WITH THEM.
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, I THOUGHT MAYBE MY DAUGHTER WOULD BE BORN WITH ONE TOE MISSING OR SOMETHING AND ALSO A LOT OF PEOPLE USE MUTI AND I WAS SO AFRAID OF SOMEONE DOING WITCH CRAFT ON US. BUT WHEN MY DAUGHTER WAS LIKE 6 WEEKS OLD WE TOOK HER FOR A RITUAL AND WE DO BURN STUFF ETC FOR EVIL SPIRITS TO GO AWAY.
Do you have any advice for those new to this experience?
ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT THE OPINION OF OTHERS DOESN’T MATTER AND THAT YOU NEED TO DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY BECAUSE PEOPLE WONT HELP YOU WHEN YOU NEED IT. THE ONLY PERSON THAT WILL HELP YOU IS THE PERSON YOU LOVE, MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND REMEMBER WE ARE ALL HUMAN NO MATTER THE COLOUR OF OUR SKIN.
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.