- Bhekisisa Mncube, a journalist and author, published a memoir of his relationship with his white wife
- Mncube's book, Love Diary of a Zulu Boy is the raw truth of what it is like for a black man to marry a white woman
- The renowned writer said he jumped off a cliff by marrying a white woman. Although apartheid ended in 1994, interracial relationships are still widely frowned upon
Mncube wrote he and his wife, to whom he refers as Professor D in his book, had been together for 17-years- and their relationship was no exception when it came to the scrutiny of interracial love.
"Not only did I marry an Englishwoman, I also married above my intellectual station. When our courtship began, she was a PhD candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand and a senior lecturer at what was then the University of Natal", he wrote.
Mncube said he was at that point a undergraduate student, but she later pushed him to pursue post-graduate studies as well.
"In essence, I crossed both the race and class divide in one fell swoop", Mncube added.
The journalist said his wife hated to be called a white woman- "She sees herself as just a woman. I see her as my partner – nothing more, and nothing less."
"Of course, it doesn’t help that she listens to Miriam Makeba, and has a collection of music by the finest black South African jazz musicians, including the late Sipho Gumede and Zim Ngqawana."
"There is definitely nothing white about dancing to the sweet melodies of the late singer, songwriter and live-performance maestro Busi Mhlongo.", he penned.
Mncube said early on in their relationship, he watched his wife to see if she has any 'white traits', which she inherited, but she showed none.
"To make matters worse, she had been a fervent anti-apartheid activist and a card-carrying member of the ANC since its unbanning. Is she on a trip to be black? Am I on the road to whiteness?"
Professor D was not Mncube's first white girl crush. In fact, he fell in love with a white girl eight years before he met his wife.
"I was entangled in an emotional fantasy love affair with a white Afrikaans woman named Ria.", he said.
However, his infatuation with Ria was his secret. "The chemistry I felt for Ria was pure and unemotional, yet it cut deep into my soul. We weren’t dating, but our friendship planted the idea that black and white could, in fact, love each other and be together."
Mncube said when he married a white woman, he faced the racial prejudice and racial discrimination.
The writer recalled how his wife's best friend called him the biggest mistake she had ever made- a statement he says still hurts him today.
But, white people were not the only ones with prejudice towards opinions towards the couple.
"Unfortunately, she wasn’t a lone wolf; my own people (read: blacks) had a mouthful to say.", he wrote, adding, "I am a traitor; I will increase through birth another race, different from mine – coloureds. So the line went."
Most of these comments about breeding another race originate from black people. In their racial thinking, I have committed the ultimate crime, a crime of passion across the colour line.
I am effectively sleeping with the enemy, they claim.
Mncube said not even in Durban could they openly love each other without eliciting "hostile stares and outright prejudice."
He then said he and his wife once went to a restaurant, but their interracial relationship bothered the people so much, they refused to serve them.
"I recall us walking into a restaurant once, holding hands, and sitting ourselves down. Seconds, then minutes, passed. Nobody brought us menus. Nobody took our drinks order. Nobody bothered to tell us we were not welcome."
"We had to figure it out for ourselves that we had touched a raw nerve of whiteness and its bedfellows, prejudice and naked racism. We walked out and never set foot in that establishment again. Thankfully, that restaurant didn’t last long."
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