I am not allowed to call myself African.
It is not allowed, unfortunately, due to the pigment of my skin, and the birth place of my great-great grandparents (being a third generation South African does not warrant my being 'African' even if it says that I am in my ID book & Passport)
I suppose, no matter where I settle, no matter where I 'lay my hat' - I will never have a place to call home. The love that I feel for this country, the sounds smells and tastes that have shaped my consciousness since birth do not belong to me. That right to call Africa my 'home' is stripped away from me by angry minds and bitter hearts, callous words... Of people that do not know me at all. And all because of the colour of my skin. And because of the fact that I happened to be born as a white person in Durban, South Africa.
It means nothing that my family, my parent & grand parents never pandered to nor submitted to the regulations imposed by the Apartheid regime. It means nothing that I was taught to love and respect all people equally from childhood. It means nothing that my Father was considered to be a Zulu man by his builders and staff - that he speaks still with isizulu nuances because he spoke isizulu each day, more than he spoke english. It means nothing that my mother assists so many people each month on her meager salary - putting children though school, buying cars for people, helping in so many ways that go above and beyond the call. And yet we are branded 'racist' in an instant, by strangers.
Those who are darker shades than I am, my friends, colleagues and companions and one xhosa sister - they know me. I receive nothing but friendship and support, laughter love and understanding... But from the unknowns, the masses - there is too much anger, resentment and hate directed at my culture, my colour... I think it is too big a problem to surmount.