Hey hey! It’s Friday! Can I get a whoop whoop?!
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.
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.
I have met the lovely Cara (from Cara Fay) on numerous occasions and her naturally bubbly, happy personality is contagious. Basically impossible not to have a good time in her company. Enough from me, I’ll let Cara share more with you.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do, what you like to spend your time on etc
I work in e-Commerce, I love to spend time with Mandla doing anything. I also love being creative, DIY, blogging, visiting markets.
Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc
Mandla is in the film industry and loves being creative, taking pictures, making short videos.
How and when did you meet your partner?
Mandla and I met in 2006 – I saw him and his friends break dancing and thought wow these guys are so cool, I went and told them that!
Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds.
I am a white Jewish girl and Mandla is black.
Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?
We live in Cape Town – definitely this is especially the case when we have visited smaller towns, which is just so sad.
What kind of role does race play in your relationship?
To be totally honest it doesn’t play any role. If I was to really dig in and think, I guess the only thing is that we use different shampoo and conditioner to match our own specific hair types.
How have your families reacted to your relationship?
His family accepted me from before Day 1, they’re truly the most loving people. His brother and sister are like my own and his mom is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. My family had a little bit of a harder time accepting the relationship.
Are there big differences in your relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture?
Not really, I guess we are lucky that I am the girl and he is the boy – if it was the other way round then I definitely think there would be, as he’d be expected to pay Lobola. Also I am Jewish so if we are to have kids they would automatically be Jewish – again if it was the other way round this wouldn’t be the case as Judaism is passed down by the Mother so if I was the male this again would be more of an obstacle.
What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your partner about this issue?
I can only talk from my side;
“if you are with a black guy, no white guy will ever want to touch you”
That was the most hurtful thing anyone has ever said but at the same time it truly taught me a lot about myself. I was 16 at the time and I remember my exact response “why would I ever want to be with a racist white guy in the first place?”
What do you think we can do to combat this ignorance/stupidity?
To be honest I’m really not sure, people are so judgmental by nature – we judge weight, clothes, make-up. I guess the only way is to teach people from a young age. South Africa is very interesting as very few schools are mixed, this was not the case in Zimbabwe where we grew up and I think that’s a huge part of ignorance as most of the white kids only experience a black face as being less fortunate or waiting on them.
Do you have any advice for those in a mixed race relationship that are facing judgement because of it?
Yes! Do you. If you are happy then really who cares?