Interracial couple opens up on relationship in SA after apartheid

Interracial couple opens up on relationship in SA after apartheid

- Mpho and Cheryl Mojapelo are an interracial couple who tied the knot in 2015

- Both attended the same school and met years later at a mutual friend’s party

- The Mojapelos opened up on some of the challenges they face as an interracial couple, but also revealed some surprising benefits as well

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Mpho and Cheryl Mojapelo are a couple in love and share it for the world to see.

One glance at their social media profiles quickly confirms that their love is as strong as ever.

However, it would’ve been a completely different story had they grown up in South Africa a few decades ago.

The interracial couple appreciate having the freedom to openly show affection.

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“We would be hiding our relationship, we would have had to live separately, or maybe leave the country," Mpho said.

The couple tied the knot in 2015 after having a “white” and “African” ceremony, including the processes of lobola and sheep slaughter.

Although apartheid ended 25 years ago, couples like them are still the exception – which also explains some of the challenges they face on a regular basis.

Being stared at is a common occurrence, but for the most part, is done out of pure fascination.

However, the couple recalls one incident where an elderly white couple referred to them as “disgusting” in Afrikaans.

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The Mojapelos feel that South Africans experience a social divide more than a racial one. learnt that Mpho’s family moved out of Soweto and headed for Roodepoort during the 1980s.

Mpho and Cheryl both attended the same school in Roodepoort, although a few years apart.

Romance then blossomed after a chance meeting at a party, but their similar educational background facilitated the connection.

Cheryl makes the point that this common background made the relationship possible as it would have seemed unlikely had Mpho stayed in Soweto and not been fluent in English.

TimesLIVE reported that Haley McEwen, a researcher at the Wits Centre for diversity studies, confirmed that interracial couples have to put up with poor service, their relationship not being taken seriously and are often stared at.

Cheryl admitted to feeling anxious when it came time to announce their relationship in fear of the reaction she would get.

However, her parents were very supportive and emphasised that skin colour was not a factor.

Mrs Mojapelo also revealed some of the perks that come with being married to a black man.

She jokingly revealed that his parents refuse for her to wash the dishes and that a police officer once gave her favourable treatment upon learning that she had a black surname.

Cheryl said, "The assumption now is that I must be a nice person because I am married to a black person."

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