I got this note today, and after reading it, my heart hurt, but it was also so full of hope, and joy that love always, ALWAYS finds it’s way, despite having a whole country against you. After reading this, it just puts into perspective how mild the objections for interracial relationships are in the United States. In South Africa, it’s the 1960’s all over again. Thank you, Khanyi, for sharing your story with us.
“Well, Miss Chris I’d like to thank you. I discovered your site an hour ago and I haven’t taken my eyes off it. I’m a South African girl who grew up in Michigan State and came back to South Africa just to find I don’t quite fit. I’ve never really had “black friends” or did “black things” or listened to “our music” etc… and because of that my life has always been difficult. And well, me being the me that I am; insisted on making things worse for myself.
I’ve started seeing an Afrikaans man. If you know anything about South Africa you’ll know that Afrikaans people hate South African blacks more than anything. This particular Afrikaans man and I are crazy about each other. See the dilemma? His father is a prominent member of the AWB (google it, you’ll have a blast), a racist Afrikaans group; his sister has been buying supplies and getting ready for the day Mandela dies — because that’s when all the blacks are coming to shoot at them. And he? has never interacted with black folk until me. For some reason he likes me, and I like him.
I’ve never been more afraid for my life… his dad was in the war against Angola (meaning his history in killing blacks is prominent). I guess what I’m trying to say is, I can relate more than anything. I know what it feels like to be stared at, called names; not being black enough for black folk or white enough for white folk, having to apologize for who you are and being afraid to be publicly affectionate sometimes.
It sucks, it hurts… but maybe some day we’ll figure it out.
Feel free to share the story. Interracial dating here is completely frowned upon. And they still have the guts to react openly. So far his mother has been an absolute angel… we met last year and fell for each other in December — we’re still babies but sometimes you know when something makes sense in its own nonsensical way, you know? He’s obviously experiencing culture shocks of his own; but he tends to be more publicly affectionate than me, and he’s gotten to a point where he couldn’t give a flying one what people thought of us. But that’s another thing. in my Xhosa culture (as with all African cultures) your elders and your family are part and parcel of your marriage. we dont get away with the whole “i dont care, i’ll do what i want” that white folk do haha…
Well, I’m a writer and have often deeply considered living in London. he’s part Irish so he’s thinking we should give Ireland a go… but that’ll be in a few years time. For now? We grin and bear I suppose. I love South Africa, it’s just still a bit warped.”