I am dating one of the sexiest men ever right now- it’s alright for me to brag because I know he can back it up and prove it. The other day, we decided on having an awesome Joburg day and the first thing on the list was to visit Joburg’s Apartheid Museum which is next to Gold Reef City- a must for all tourists, Joburgers and those who are passionate about South Africa.First things first though, we needed food! So we hit Woolworths and while I was deciding between the very sad choices of vegetarian options, my man kept himself occupied by publicly groping me. Usually PDA has me gagging and sending me running for the hills, but there was something comforting about the way he kissed my forehead and held me while I chatted inanely about couscous and Greek salad.
I felt him stiffen though (and not in a sexy way, you dirty minded people) and he muttered something about two women who were staring at us. He grabbed my hand tightly and made quite the show of pointing out to the shoppers that I was very much his, or with him- as if they couldn’t figure it out by his hand on my butt.
The women were obviously not happy about the interracial relationship that we were in, I don’t know who was the one who was considered to be ”settling” and “lowering their standards”. In my family, I know that I would be considered lowering my standards, dating someone outside my race, especially someone who was so obviously darker and with kroes (curly, thick African hair) hair- It would be considered backwards of me (backwards in the sense of moving away from the white sphere to darker territories) to pop out babies with big bums and flat noses.
But maybe from the women’s’ points of view, maybe my sexy man was the one who was settling for me. He was perhaps seen as a traitor to his own people by not being happy with what would fall into his comfort zone, something that he and his community were familiar with.
I often have rose-coloured shades on when it comes to issues of race and racialism. Not that I am not a racialist, I believe everyone (at least in South Africa) is. Racialism is being able to see the differences in skin tone of people and recognise that with that comes socio-economic attributes with racial designations. However I hate racism which is the idea of specifically acting on these socio-economic attributes to the point of discrimination, hate-speech and violence. So it is not that I don’t recognise what it means to be in an interracial relationship with someone, I’m not naïve- however, it just doesn’t faze me.
I am so proud of my coloured heritage, despite the fact that it comes with so many identity issues and is not without its stereotypes. However, when we visited the Apartheid museum today, I remembered how coloureds have such an atrocious history- being the bastards of apartheid, the pavement specials, and the product of the rapes and pillages of 1820 settlers on their slaves and white males who thought they could take what they want. However, there is also a positive side to this… being coloured and the entire heritage that comes with it represents certain defiance against Apartheid, but something more unique than that was that rather than violence it was defiance through love.
I’m not clear on my family tree but I choose to believe that my mixed race came from interracial love, couples coming together despite atrocious constitutional acts than barred them from being with one another. It must have been so scary to live outside of what is now considered comfort zone, to be seen as a traitor to your people and risk everything for the one you love.
So I don’t see this as backward- this relationship I’m in and loving every second of. I don’t see it as settling and in fact I feel more cherished and blessed than I’ve ever felt in a long time. I’m not saying culturally it won’t be difficult, but I figure if people could risk life and limb to be with one another, we can deal with our in-laws and Woollies shoppers, with a firm grip of the buttocks and perhaps some couscous…for strength.