The word “Coloured” and why I hate it

Recently my family and I have started this ritual, in the spirit of being healthy; we try to walk a few times a wekk. A 30 minute walk / jog. It’s fun. I sweat. I pain. It’s for a good cause though (you’d understand if you ever saw in the light). But this post is not about the eternal train of wanting – to – lose – weight, this is about the ever popularised and overused term; “Coloured”

To say I identify as a Coloured would only be because that is what I have been told and from the area I have been raised; “Coloured” is the first and most natural bracket I have been put into.

I have been called

  • too white for Mitchells Plain
  • too sturvy because I am unfamilar with the wordings of my people

People have even gone as far as to say, “Are you sure?” when I tell them I have lived my entire life in the thriving drug and gang stricken community of “The Plain”

Do I get offended when I hear the term “Coloured”? NO

I do however, hate it and all the negative conotations associated with that ACI status

I am not white

I am not black

I am Coloured

  • Low level
  • Crass
  • Unintelligent

This not only what people say but how people look at me, I see the judgement in your eyes and that version of Coloured infuriates me

As soon as I loudly identify as Coloured; without a second thought I get asked to perfom stranger CCA’s (Coloured Circus Acts)

  • speak like one of them
  • say something Coloured

And then, what words do you use?

The favourite and one they always look forward to is PK

*please note that at the time of these CCA’s, I worked for a predominantly white owned company (I am not racist, just stating the facts) where it was of unheard of to still be calling your parents “Mommy” and “Daddy”, to still be living at home at 25 and to be living somewhere other than Claremont / Rondebosch

The term “Coloured” irks me even though we have Youngsta, Paxtion Fielies, Wayde van Niekerk and Craig Lucas (he is Coloured, right?) ; the sort of low level Coloureds or non TV Coloureds are still seen as kak

I am a proud Coloured girl from the Plain

I am not proud of the filthy language we use, the way we are so easily mocked and how we willingly make clowns of ourselves

I am a proud Coloured girl with a mom hailing from Lavender Hill and a dad from Manenberg

I am not proud of the way we are exploited and how the term “Coloured” is so loosely thrown around like the tik injected into our children’s veins

I am a proud Coloured girl always being told “you’re too white for Mitchells Plain but too coloured for Constantia” , as if that was some sort of compliment

I am not proud because I a writing this

Admitting that I am offended by the term “Coloured”, the term i so closely relate to; is not a good thing

Leaves me as if I am not apart of anything

As f I don’t belong

It is not a proud moment but as I bowed my head in shame when, what I assume was a drug laden gent, shouted across the field “Fiekie jou naai”; I realised that that version of Colouredness, although colourful #punright is not the version of Coloured I have ever wanted to be associated with

Perhaps it is because I am my harshest critic and worst judge

<when the one rotten apple lies in the basket too long: do we also turn brown on the inside?>