My name is Hulisani Khorombi and I am recently black.
Now a quick scroll down the article and you will notice that my melanin count would clearly lead to me being categorised as non-white. So how is it that it took me 25 whole years to realise that I am black?
Probably because I had always ignored the fact that I was black. I grew up oblivious to race. I was what one would call “colour-blind”. I used to refuse to accept the realities of systematic racism and that those who were racist were in fact just a rare occurrence and not the norm in society.
Just over a year ago I discovered that in fact these things that I had consciously ignored all my life were indeed a reality. This was one of the factors that led to me leaving Facebook for a long while. I had to figure out where I stood in the matter of blackness. Would I be a proud black person who stood up and against racism or would I continue to hide my head in the sand and pretend that these issues had no bearing to me?
That is exactly what I did. I submerged myself in black culture. Both South African and abroad and found my feet. I came to the realisation that not only was I black but that I was a feminist. At times these two concepts competed against each other and I came to the discovery of intersectional feminism which is what I currently identify as.
My blackness is not the same as the next person, in that my experiences cumulated to make me my own person. However, the mere fact that I don’t slaughter a goat because lighting struck my house does not negate that I am black. I speak my home language (TshiVenda). I also speak English and Afrikaans. That just makes it easier to communicate with other people. I enjoy reading weird indie books without feeling bad about not watching the movie. I don’t care that I am labelled a nerd. I definitely don’t care when you say that I am a non-traditionalist because I am a Christian.
Black people as a race are pretty resilient in life. We have lived through being colonized, slavery and segregation. Somewhere in that, we haven’t lost who we are as a people. We can be taught a strange language from across the sea and still stay true to who we are. We can be introduced to sushi but still prefer pap.
There is nothing more lit than being a black female in 2016. Sure there are socio-economical problems that we will have to continue fighting against for a long time BUT wow how awesome is it to be able to absorb the skin’s sun rays and have hair that defies gravity?
Written By Hulisani Khorombi, Associate Editor, #mygirlsquad