Race and Heritage has always been a particularly sticky point, not only in our Country but in my personal space.
Often I get asked, “What race are you?” (especially when I go blonde!)
And my response is always: “Why does it matter!”
The guesses are often amusing, especially when I travel – according to the world I am Brazilian, Spanish, Costa Rican, Columbian, Mexican and Argentinian. Aah cmon, can ONE person guess African!
I am a child of Mzanzi. Surely after apartheid, the fight for freedom and equality amongst all races, my race should not matter??
I should be judged not on the colour of my skin, or the origins of birth, but on the quality of my character and my presence as a human being?
As you read in most of my posts, indeed I am blessed, but I was also privileged to grow up blessed.
I grew up living in a multiracial community where my neighbours were of two different races on either side of our house. The schools that I attended were non-denominational and accepted children of every race even when the government did not allow them to. My parents were young, open minded and free spirited (not hippies, lol) and encouraged me to not identify with a person by the colour of their skin, but rather their characteristics as a person.
For this reason, I am especially blessed.
I honestly believe that by growing up without being taught these prejudices, I am at an advantage – instead of judging people on predisposed racial stereotypes, I engage with the most amazing people from all religions and races because I am open to accepting them into my space.
I am proud to be a South African. I accept that my ancestors made the journey to this country to give me a better future and I acknowledge my heritage, but I am an African. I was born in Africa, my parents were born in Africa as were my grandparents.
My children will become part of the African family and I will most likely contribute to this wonderful “melting pot” of races where we will all become part of one race. It’s the way the future should be and Im excited about the role that my family will have in this unity.
Cheesy perhaps, but Ubuntu encompasses my attitude to life and hence why I do the work that I do:
“I am what I am because of who we all are”