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 am a video editor, working a lot on Wildlife shows at the moment. I like Zombie movies and traveling, wine and reading.
Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc
My partner is about to start his Masters overseas in African politics. He also likes movies but not zombies, is really fond of Monks take-out and hanging out with friends.
How and when did you meet your partner?
We met through mutual friends.
Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds. What was your home life like while you were growing up?
I am a white english South African, my partner was born in Kenya and moved to South africa when he was 10, so Kenyan /South African.
Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?
We live together in the City Bowl in Cape town. To be honest I haven’t felt less or more accepted in different places.
I know babies may not be on the cards right now, but do you have any fears/excitement about having “mixed race” babies in the future?
I have one concern, explaining the history of Racism to my child. Where does one start and more importantly where do you stop. Sadly racism is still prevalent not only the overt kind but also institutionalized racism, and the thought of explaining that to a child is very sad. [As is the thought that that people have had to do it all the time]
What kind of role does race play in your relationship?
I don’t feel like it does. My partner and I chose each other based on out similar outlooks on life, religion, career goals. We are different people [as are all couples] and all couples have differences that stem from being brought up by different people in different ways and well as all the myriad of other experiences that shape a person, some of which race would be a factor. But I don’t feel race specifically plays its own role – in way that would be different if we were not different races, if that makes sense?
How have your families reacted to your relationship?
Both families have reacted the same way they reacted before to previous relationships.
Are there big differences in your 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 partner about this issue?
Nothing really, sometimes people stare a little but that could be because my partner is a total fox 🙂
What do you think we can do to combat this ignorance/stupidity?
I think although it is hard to be patient with people, if it is genuine ignorance, take their comment as a way to start a conversation. [easier said than done] But as to larger questions of how to combat racism, pffft there is no short answer to that.
Do you have any advice for those in a mixed race relationship that are facing judgement because of it?
Hmmm I don’t know, I haven’t personally had to deal with any judgement around it [That I am aware of] but maybe to remember that it is their problem and not yours, and that they are the ones that are living with a world view that deprives them of all the world has to offer.