Hey hey! It’s Friday!
Let’s cheers to a beautiful, warm weekend in Cape Town – finally!
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.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do, what you like to spend your time on etc – I work full time, and study part time. I love to read, and anytime I have free I am chilling on my bed with my book:)
Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc – My husband is an extremely busy man, he works full time and has a business which takes up quite a bit of time. We do a lot of socializing (we’re all extremely social and love people, Keagan especially) and spend a lot of time playing with Keagan. In summer the entire family plays cricket, winter is boardgames and lately Xbox.
Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds. I am coloured from Port Elizabeth, husband is white Afrikaans from Cape Town.
Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places? We live in Cape Town, in a very progressive suburb in the north. In our previous area, people would stop to stare at the three of us, but thankfully we have none of that where we are now. On our annual PE trips, we generally stop in Oudtshoorn in the garden route, and there people are less open minded. We’ve had loads of stares and even silenced an entire Spur. In PE people are alot more chilled, no-one ever stares or makes comments.
Tell us all about your kids – brag a bit – it’s OK 😉 Keagan is the most entertaining child I have ever met. He has such a unique personality, he’s extremely affectionate and loving,and is the most social of butterflies. He’s a beautiful, amazing little person with a heart of gold.
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? It’s not really an issue in our house, nor with our close friends. It was a bit of an adjustment initially (for others), as not only do we have the race thing, but a 16 year age gap. I am positive there were many conclusions drawn about this young woman with the older white man, all those old stereotypes etc.
Are there big differences in your marriage relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture? Not really, since the Afrikaans upbringing is very similar to that of the coloured culture. We have the same values, and the same views on raising our son.
How have your families reacted to your relationship? They’ve all been awesome:)
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)? I’ve had loads of experiences when I’ve been with my son alone. He was extremely fair at birth and I’m very dark, and I’ve had many people ask me who the baby belongs to. I took it in my stride then, and still do.
What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your husband about this issue? I’ve been told that people don’t understand why people of different races want to be together. That hurt quite a bit because that’s just based on pigmentation and hair texture! We’re all human beings!
One of Keagan’s classmates in preschool told him not to kiss me on the lips because I’m black 🙁 We dealt with that pretty quickly and after a few days Keagan himself said he will kiss anyone he likes, the end.
What do you think we can do to combat this ignorance/stupidity? The little boy who told my son not to kiss me must have heard this somewhere. I think that parents should be mindful of what they say around their kids, regardless of their personal thoughts on race. Kids listen to everything and emulate what we do and say.
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 didn’t give it a thought during my pregnancy and shortly after his birth. I only realised it might be an issue much later on. I don’t worry though – we raise this child in a lovely secure environment, he is confident and very smart. We will deal with any issues that may come our way together and he will be fine.
Do you have any advice for those new to this experience? Try not to take things too personally – sometimes people are just confused and say things without meaning to hurt you. I was very sensitive for the longest time, and I know it can be difficult, but sometimes I overreacted as well.
Like what you’ve read here? That’s flipping awesome – feel free to share it with your friends. Also come hang out with me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram where you can expect to find a whole lot more of this, just shorter.