I am a white South African teenage girl. I don’t think much about being white. But I guess it’s true that most of my friends are white. I do have black students in my class but they generally stick together, and I stick with the white girls. But sometimes we do mix and have fun together.
I have one good friend who is Zulu. I used to envy her because of her cultural heritage – the dancing and the singing and the clothes she can wear when we have cultural day at school. I wish that I had something that was so beautiful to be proud of like that.
But sometimes my friend’s Zulu-ness can make me feel an outsider. I don’t think her dad would want me to marry her brother, for example, because I am not Zulu. I am lucky: my parents would not mind me marrying someone that was not English. And perhaps that is a good thing in some ways.
On cultural day people expect me to bring English clothes and food but I have never been to England! So I guess for me it is more important that I am South African, and I am proud to be South African. I get irritated with some white friends who are pessimistic about the country and want to live overseas. My parents say that whatever the problems South Africa is home and that we must all work to make things better here, and I agree with them.