Welcome back to my favourite series!
I’m glad that you’re back to read the next installment. 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 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.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do, what you like to spend your time on etc
I am a educator, teaching kids with severe mental health issues. A wife and mom of 3 angels. If and when I eventually find time for myself then scrapbooking is my hobby. I’m an extrovert by nature.
Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc
My hubby Imran owns a recycling business. Very much the opposite of me, a very private man. He is also very family orientated and ambitious by heart. Oh and loves movies. His English is not so good, so I am the language teacher at home haha
Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds. Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?
I was born Christian and coloured and converted to Islam. Hubby is Pakistani and has been in South Africa for 14 years. We have been married 10 years this year. Dated for 6 months and ding dong wedding bells. Maybe it’s true when they say opposites attract.
Now keep in mind I am South African coloured, being “submissive” to your husband isn’t really in our dictionary lol. Don’t get me wrong, I love and respect my husband to the moon and back. Pakistani women are very much reserved and submissive, and yes I have been to his home land seen it first hand. Embracing his religion was a huge adjustment… yeah still is. .
Having previously lived overseas, do you face any adversity having married outside of your race and culture?
I went for holiday to Pakistan and to meet my in laws. Oh my… Language was a huge barrier. They just loved me. I didn’t have to do anything when I was there. Their way of living is a very big gap from what I am used to. All I’m saying is you can smell that male dominance in the air. But hubby knew, jy mors nie met a coloured vrou nie lol. They were very accepting of me, especially as arranged marriages are still very prominent there.
Tell us about your children…
We have 3 beautiful kids , 2 girls Zeenat and Laylah; and a boy Azghar. Imran is the lovable dad and I am surely the disciplinarian witch lol. It’s always go ask your mom… what mom says is law.
What kind of role does race play in your family dynamic?
Not sure…. But we love making fun only in our household – people can be very sensitive out there. Imran would sometimes say I have khoi san hair while stroking it haha…. Or talk about me coming from the bush, only bush people know how to braai lol. Our kids don’t really understand what is coloured, white, black, blue etc. They just know mom is from SA and dad a Paki. Haha
How have your families reacted to your relationship and subsequent marriage?
Are there big differences in your marriage relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture
What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your husband about this issue?
Difference in culture/ religion didn’t affect at all. He understood I came from Christian values and do certain things differently. If there is a funeral or wedding or any Christian events then I join my family. And he is staunch Muslim but doesn’t enforce it on me. I just had to scale down on my extrovertedness if you can call it that. In terms of outgoing, not that I had to, I wanted to.
Well just because they never said anything I know many of my friends were skeptical. But they were content with the fact that I was happy. Oh then there was the pretend friend who had a lot of advice and their input. Like he is just using me for citizenship (which he still doesn’t have because of laziness). Then it was that he will take me to Pakistan and abuse me, then take my kids which didn’t happened at all. I was treated like a queen. The most laughable one is that I married him for his money because what reason would a man like him marry me. The reason its funny is because we started out with nothing and we worked hard for what we have.
What do you think we can do to combat this ignorance/stupidity?
I do understand peoples concerns when it comes to foreigners. Not all are the same. Maybe I was lucky in finding my gem in one of them. If I go around judging and mistrusting people how am I going to live. If I were to marry a South African man, who is to say he wouldn’t cheat or abuse me. You get good ones and bad ones. Its all over the world. Learn to know someone before judging them.
Do you have any advice for those in a mixed race relationship that are facing judgement because of it?
I have learned to let go… At the end of the day there are only two people in your relationship – you and your partner. Bugger the rest.