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.
So tell us about your family
My name is Andrea Hoffmann. I’m 24. Currently a house wife / student at unisa. I love art work, I’m an excellent painter an even better crocheter (if that’s even a word). My mom taught me to crochet when is was 7, now I believe I make amazing little things for kids. I’m a mom to a wonderful little boy he is 2 years old. I’m married to a white man.
My husband oh he is amazing. He is 23. He is an IT programmer. He does such amazing things, which I never understand.
How did you meet?
We have a funny start, my husband was my brothers best friend in high school. He came to my house one day to get a puppy that our dog just had. That’s when we just met. But I wasn’t interested in him. He was a year behind me. I was a hot headed stupid teenage girl. I finished school had another boy friend which didn’t end well. And his mom was my moms best friend, they came over for coffee we spoke and things went from there.
Give us a bit of a behind the scenes look at your heritage and cultures
He is English. His family hasn’t had any non white person in the family before me. His mom was ok with it before things got serious. I guess she thought it wouldn’t get serious. But it did. We got engaged. Then I got pregnant. (he was 20) so it got very ugly. We got married legally on the 4 of February 2013. Then he turned 21 on the 9 of March and we got married a week later in the church on the 16th of March (Catholic churches don’t let you marry before 21). Out beautiful boy was born on the 14 of July 2013. He is the most beautiful blessing we’ve ever received.
Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?
Ah I love this question. We are accepted by open minded people. We recently went to Durban. Worst experience of my life. Never had so many disapproving people ever. I’ve grown to accept that people hate change. They look at us and I can see the judgement written across their faces, especially Indian people. It’s almost like I’ve committed a big sin. White people aren’t as accepting either. I’ve once had an old Afrikaans lady see us kiss and then she later came up to me and remind me that I’m Indian and he is white and why can’t I find another Indian man. I laughed and walked on by. We live in gauteng. Jhb south.
Tell us all about your kids – brag a bit – it’s OK 😉
We have an amazing son. Yes I will brag, he is so beautiful. He has this olive skin tone. With dark but not black hair. He is so advanced. He has excellent pronunciation. He goes to the potty on his own. He can count to 20 and sings many nursery rhymes. We often get asked if he is a girl because he is so pretty. Although it’s our fault he has such beautiful curly hair we have grown it for him. But the answer in my head is yes cause I would dress my little girl like a boy.
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?
We don’t care about race between us. our families have learned to accept us. In our home we don’t see race. We see humans and we love everyone. Our best friend is a black man. He practically lives with us and we love him like a brother.
Are there big differences in your marriage relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture?
There are big cultural differences. We are both Catholic. But I’m Indian. When our son was born my mum was turning salt and burning incense. It was alot of explaining for him. But he understood it was all cultural belief.
How have your families reacted to your relationship?
My family was more accepting than his. I’ll leave it at that haha.
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)?
Once a lady asked me if he was my son. Once a lady asked if I was the nanny. Ah people are still not used to change even in our growing democracy…..
What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your husband about this issue?
The most hurtful experience I’ve had was a woman remind me that I’m Indian and he is white. Like I had no business with him. It only hurt for a few moments. Then I was over it. Felt like I wasn’t good enough. But I’ve grown use to it. Just the other week we went to the air show a white lady said ‘ah ***” to me when my husband held me and my son came running towards me. Haha
What do you think we can do to combat this ignorance/stupidity?
I don’t believe there’s much to do to combat this issue. Some people have strong beliefs. We must acknowledge them and try respect it. Each to their own.
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?
We have no fears. We will teach our son to love everyone regardless of their age race or differences. We need to teach future generations to love. Just love. Without love there can not be a better tomorrow.
Do you have any advice for those new to this experience?
My advice. Love like there’s no tomorrow. Never ever let someones opinion or thought affect your ability to love another human. No one deserves anything but the best from you. Don’t let an ugly look, or an ugly word question your love for the person you fall asleep next to. Love has no boundaries.
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 find us a whole lot of this – just shorter. We share the normal things that life throws at us that aren’t edited and well thought out – just moments as they happen.