The funniest thing happened over the weekend. I started chatting to a fellow myciti passenger while we waited for the bus to arrive. She was a Xhosa gogo who had the most delightfully melodic laugh. I noticed that she kept staring at my fro. Then she asked the question I could tell she was dying to ask:
” So where are you from?”
Me: ” I’m from Cape Town “.
Gogo: “Were you born here?”
Me: ” Yes, mama”
Gogo: ” Then why don’t you speak to me in isiXhosa?” she asked with a frown on her face.
Me: ” Because my xhosa is really bad mama. I only know very basic xhosa”. Gogo looks at my hair and then back at my face and then I understood.
Me: ” Mama, I am coloured”
Gogo: ” But you don’t look like other coloureds, they are lighter than you”
Me: *laughing hysterically* ” We come in all shades, mama”
Gogo: ” And your hair, is it a weave?” she asked with a perplexed look on her face.
Me: “No mama, it’s my natural hair” Her hands went directly to my hair as she simultaneously asked for permission to touch my hair. “It’s real!” she exclaimed. ” You are very blessed to have such curls” At that, the bus arrived.
It took me 39 years to get to the point where I can honestly say that I love every little coily curl that comes out of my head… and man do I love Cape Town and all her beautifully diverse people. Blessed indeed.