Tuesday, October 26, 2010


....That's what I am. A colored girl, not from the Cape flats but from a coloured suburb in Johannesburg.

I know this might sound like a derogatory term to some, but here in South Africa, we are a race of people with our own culture. A culture that we have developed over time and are now passing on to our children.
Let me explain.

We have many races in our country. There were black people on our land and then the white settlers came to live here too (like L would tell). Even though the white people were so against the blacks, they did, however, have children with them. Because these children were neither white nor black, we were classified colored.

Here's the catch. We have many types of coloreds in our country. First generation coloreds are not the same as say... forth generation coloreds. They grow up in either the black or white cultures but don't fall under the classification a colored person from colored parents would.

I grew up in a colored suburb, where mostly colored people live and where we have our own dialect and mannerisms. We are known for being loud, drunkards and foul mouthed. Our real name would be 'Kullid' and we really are one of a kind. I love the way Trevor Noah says it "South Africa is the only country that manufactures coloreds". He himself being a coloured, first generation, unfortunately.

So here's the thing, I get asked a lot about which of the eleven South African languages I speak at home, but being colored, there is only one language we learn from birth ( other than English of course ). We don't speak Zulu, unless you are from KwaZulu Natal, and we most definitely don't speak Sotho. We speak the white mans language. But we do it in a way that no white man really does. We speak Afrikaans (ufrrrikaans  - roll your tongue).

Afrikaans derives from Dutch but has taken its own form when it hit our sores. This language separates us from the rest of the South Africans in our country. It is raw and to the point and you never want anyone to curse you in it, because whether you understand it or not, you will know what was meant. You are not a 'real' coloured if you are not familiar with the language and you will stand out like a sore thumb and a 'braai' (barbecue).

The other thing that sets apart from everyone else is our hair. We could have anything from 'glad'(smooth and silky) to 'kroos' (nappy) hair. The aim for most girls is to have glad hair which is why we make a date with a box of hair relaxer every single month. I mean, kroos hair is way too much work you know.

So here are a few lessons, if maybe you happen to come around one day:

Aweh my broe  - aawhere may brew - How are you my brother
Hoe lyk hulle -  who lake huulla - How is it going
Jy sal jou jam gelyk dit - yay saal you jam gggu (roll G on back of throat) like duut  - don't you wish
And finally -
Jou Ma se ...... - Yo maa sit ( without the T )  - Your mothers....fill in the blank

I hope that gives some people a little more understanding on what it is like to be a coloured. We are just people, crazy, and sometimes we really don't make sense, but I love being 'Kullid'...its who I am!

1 comment:

Write Chick said...

This was so interesting to me. I had to read the whole thing. I love when people share their culture on their blogs. I had to laugh at myself trying to pronounce the common sayings though. I definitely would stick out like a sore thumb.