19 September 2018

South Africa: Coloured, Colourism and Privilege - Coloured Is Just an Uncomfortable Reality, a Place On the Margins


This is Part 2 of a three-part series on Khoi-San identity, published during Heritage Month.

See Part 1 here

As a child, I absolutely dreaded bath time. It may seem a trivial fact, but my disposition to daily grooming extended far beyond mere disappointment about an abrupt end to playtime...

Bath time, for me, meant my grandmother shouting for one of my four older cousins to fetch the orange net bag and ammonia floor cleaner from under the sink, so that she could scrub the black off my neck.

The mixing of enslaved populations in the Cape transferred traits from many other ethnic groups to Khoi-San people - traits such as skin pigmentation from the Indians; a trait that I am prone to. It's genetic - but my grandmother would scrub the colour off my skin with chemical-based household cleaner like dirt. And although physically painful, what hurt most was the sound of...

South Africa

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