It hasn’t been a long week, but it has been a busy one!
I’m so pleased to be able to bring back an instalment of this series. It’s been a while I know. But I can’t tell you how hard it is to find people willing to share their stories. It could be because they have nothing to say and they’ve never felt any reaction (which is great) but I know this isn’t the case because I hear real life stories on the news every day that indicate otherwise.
Anyway, we’re handing over to Monde today to let her tell us about her life as part of a mixed race couple raising two very sweet little boys.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do, what you like to spend your time on etc
I work full time as a marketing professional. I’m also an entrepreneur, brand developer, working on one of the businesses with my husband. I enjoy riding, going to the gym, building my businesses and spending time with family.
Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc
He’s in operations management. We run the business together and he likes to read a lot on topics like history and Christianity.
Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds.
I’m Xhosa-Zulu but a hybrid of Swazi & Sotho influences as well. He’s of German descent, 1st Gen In SA but with Afrikaans & Belgian background.
Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?
We live in the Northern suburbs of Jozi. Fortunately here we’re more acceptable as there are more of us. But we like to escape to the bush in small towns where people stare and sometimes choke on their food staring.
Tell us all about your kids – brag a bit – it’s OK ?
We have two handsome boys – one looks likes Mommy and the other like Daddy. Precious things. Sometimes mixed race kids are put on a pedestal by outsiders, to their detriment though, so we try to keep them grounded.
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?
Sometimes when it’s shoved into our faces by the media – it’s a bad. These elections are very racist and dirty. I sometimes prepare my “poverty food” like tripe and hubby wants to run away. He wants snake as a pet and no way will I stay even with a harmless one. We already have a hamster “rat in my books” for a pet. We have different perspectives but we learn to live with it.
Are there big differences in your marriage relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture?
Yes, food! Especially our approach to wastage – I’m frugal and he’s not. I like my foods, cultural dancing, even kwasa kwasa and he can’t relate. I embrace more of his culture than he does. I speak German now. I feel I live more in his world because it’s a Western society.
How have your families reacted to your relationship?
Initially cautious about race but once they got to know us and they’re now smitten with the boys.
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)?
Lots of stares. People judging and expecting us to be different but we’re so normal it’s not funny. Some white women look at him judgementally and some black men at me also, like why couldn’t we find one of own kind. People dot too much on mixed kids. I don’t want them to have a chip on their shoulders.
What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your husband about this issue?
The fascination with us can be too much sometimes, especially when we want to have a quiet outing. Customer service is a bugbear. I’ll ask him to call to get a better response on the phone. There’s a “”black chick syndrome” where ladies just ignore me and call him Sir. Some Afrikaans teachers tend to be too harsh to my boys. I sometimes ignore it but it concerns me.
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?
I have normal fears about the future in raising my kids in this country. I think they’ll be better off in Germany. My husband doesn’t want us moving to Cape Town because of the heavy Coloured influence and all that goes with it.
Do you have any advice for those new to this experience?
Keep an open mind. It’s not going to be that heavenly ecstatic just because of how different you are. Deep down we’re all equal and face the same challenges as any normal couple.
If you would like to join in and be featured in this series or know of someone that would, please see what I need from you HERE!
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.