My little girl asked me the other day why she is brown and not white (they don't say black anymore at their school). She is now in a multi-racial school and so she must have noticed that not everyone is the same colour. She is also now concerned about the length of her hair. (Please refer to my article 'dreading' where I discuss the challenges I have had with my hair. The little girl, who looks almost exactly like me, will probably have very similar hair problems, given that her hair is exactly what mine was when I was her age. My Mum confirmed this immediately she was born).
When she asks these questions, I ask her 'do you want to look like the other girls or do you want to look like mummy?' And of course she want to be just like mummy, not that she has much of a choice. See, most of us (except MJ) don't get to choose the colour of our skin, and I try to teach the little girl that all colours, including hers are great! I also taught her Boney M's song, 'there is a brown girl in the ring' and she loves it.
My girl has had to deal with this issue so early in life and I hope that is a good thing. Coming to Stellenbosch, has opened up so many opportunities for both of us, and my wish is that she will learn to turn all this to her advantage. I have mentioned before that Stellenbosch has a long history of racial tension and my plan is to skirt around this problem because I cannot even begin to fathom it's depth.
I have been lucky to work with all types of people here, some good, some not so much, and I have discovered, it had nothing to do with the colour of their skin. That is one lesson I hope my daughter will take out of here.