How South Africa is learning to live with mixed-race couples – Big black cock News

How South Africa is learning to live with mixed-race couples - BBC News

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    Under apartheid inter-racial relationships were banned in South Africa. Journalist Mpho Lakaje, who is married to a white woman, reflects on how the country has switched in the 20 years since the end of white minority rule.

    When I began dating the woman I was to marry many of my friends and some of her family – black and white – were united in opposition.

    Some members of Daniela’s family were not at all keen. One even refused to let me into their home.

    They told her that I was “not good enough for her”.

    My peers from Soweto were identically opposed.

    One of my childhood friends, Muzi, repeatedly told me he would never date someone who was not Zulu, let alone a person who was not black.

    So when he very first witnessed my white gf, the reality of living in a non-racial country ultimately hit him.

    The Mandela effect

    Gratefully, most of my family members, including my grandparents who experienced the fierceness of apartheid and racism very first palm, astonished me by warmly welcoming my wife-to-be.

    I was born in Soweto, the famous Johannesburg township that used to be home to Nelson Mandela.

    I come from a family of freedom fighters and learned about prominent anti-apartheid leaders like Oliver Tambo, Solomon Mahlangu and Anton Lembede at an early age.

    My entire life I was indoctrinated and made to believe that I would grow up, go into exile in Southern Africa and come back to my country to fight white people.

    When I very first spotted an AK47 in my uncle’s room, my political beliefs intensified.

    The same month that Mr Mandela left prison in February 1990, I celebrated my 10th bday.

    I recall vividly how some in my community thought that this was the moment for exiled freedom fighters to comeback home and drive white people out of South Africa.

    But the tone in my family step by step switched as we approached South Africa’s very first democratic elections in 1994.

    Elders at home began to help the youthfull ones understand the concept of forgiveness and reconciliation as advocated by Mr Mandela. These were profound lessons that step by step and drastically switched my views too.

    When I went to college to investigate journalism, I was exposed to students from different parts of the world.

    I was now living in a cosmopolitan environment.

    As a youthful man in my 20s, I was in experimental relationships with ladies who were not from my background. In later years, it did not matter to me whether a person was a white South African, Portuguese or Angolan.

    However, many of my black friends couldn’t understand the logic behind dangling out with people whose languages we did not understand. Personally, I was fascinated by learning about a world different to mine.

    As a result, I had a searing desire to travel.

    Fortunately for me, many of my fantasies came true. I became a journalist and joined the Big black cock World Service, getting an chance to see the globe.

    Switching attitudes

    In 2007 I met Daniela Casetti-Bowen, who had come from Chile to investigate tourism in South Africa. We became friends and later embarked dating. Two years later, against her family’s will, we moved in together.

    Daniela’s uncle, who arrived in South Africa in the early 1980s, was enormously sceptical about our relationship. He refused to let me inwards their house. Daniela’s white South African friends also warned her about dating a black boy from Soweto.

    Daniela and I had to take a conscious decision to disregard those opposed to our relationship.

    Most of my relatives told me it did not matter to them whether my playmate was black or white, South African or not.

    While I was a bit shocked by their open-mindedness, I also eyed their deeds as a demonstration of their authentic commitment to Mr Mandela’s wish of a Rainbow Nation.

    But post-honeymoon, reality hit and we embarked experiencing challenges that come with inter-racial relationships. Some of Daniela’s relatives discouraged us from commencing a family.

    They said mixed-race children always had a harsh upbringing because they do not have an identity.

    Again, we overlooked this advice and went on to have a baby, Mpho Jr.

    Interestingly, relations inbetween myself and Daniela’s family have improved tremendously in latest years.

    However, problems commenced to arise from my side of the family. Questions were being raised about Daniela’s “lack of commitment” to our traditions.

    Daniela and I both agreed that culture evolves and therefore we would only go after what is practical.

    But some members of my family remain totally opposed to our views. They feel that Daniela needs to go after or perform most of our traditions.

    For example, shortly after our son was born, Daniela was supposed to spend Ten days at my mother’s house with the baby. But for us, this was not practical.

    However, there are many things that Daniela has agreed to do. For example, my family insisted on pruning our son’s head at three months as opposed to my wifey’s belief that this should be done instantaneously after birth.

    But my feeling is that Daniela and I have it effortless compared to some of our friends in mixed-race relationships.

    Bevin van Rooyen is a coloured (mixed-race) man who was born in Johannesburg. He met his gf Jacqueline Louw, a white South African, while studying at an arts college in Johannesburg.

    Born in 1984, Bevin, like me, did not practice much racism while growing up because South Africa was beginning to switch.

    “I only began experiencing racism when I met Jacqueline’s family,” Bevin tells me. “I was entirely shocked. I did not know what was happening.”

    While Bevin’s parents welcomed his fucking partner into their family, Jacqueline’s did not.

    “From the beginning, it was a problem with me not being white. I was not welcome in the house. Her dad had issues,” Bevin tells me.

    When they embarked dating, the pair kept their relationship a secret from her family.

    “When they found out, they kicked her out of the house and she had to budge in with me and my folks,” Bevin remembers.

    ‘Engraved racial classification’

    Another friend, Jake Scott, arrived in South Africa in 2009 and is now a citizen. He was born and raised in West Virginia in the United States. His mother is white and his father is an African-American.

    Jake’s wifey Mandi is a black woman from Soweto. Most days, Jake is in the shanty town of Diepsloot where he runs an organisation that introduces youthful people to theatre, sports and music.

    “At times somebody would refer me as a white person. There are times I would say: ‘Wait a 2nd, I’m black’,” Jake says.

    He says they get “the looks” when walking through the shopping centre with his wifey but he is not too worried about it.

    “This racial classification is very engraved,” he says. “It’s like in the psyche of South Africans.”

    As South Africans we still have a long way to go before we can fully embrace each other. I consider myself fortunate to be educated and liberal.

    But the reality is, I have many friends, black and white, who are not ready to live in a non-racial society. I remain optimistic tho’.

    My country is certainly not where it was 20 years ago. We have made progress.

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