Another post about being white...

If you want to judge me... wait in line with all the other people. I'm about to say whats on my heart.  

Two years ago I went to Landbou. Wian, Jodan and I were setting out on a different path going to a new school... Well you probably know the rest.
Today I was sitting with my dad. We were discussing whether or not I should go to this poetry session tomorrow on Morningside, Durban. Now you see I’ll probably be the only white girl. Let’s face the facts that I won’t necessarily be very safe. I don’t know the location and I only know two of the people who will be there. Not that I don’t trust the people who are going but I don’t want to be put in a position if I am not ready to handle it. I’ll have no one tell me that it’s not a big deal.  

Talking to my dad I wanted to cry. He was saying that he doesn't want to leave me there alone because he doesn't know the people. Which I understand. And i know my dad would never keep me from something that will let me grow. But he said if I feel i want and need to go he will let me.  So the decision is on me. And i want to go so badly. But is the timing right?

Going to Landbou I always had my brother and also Jodan. I always felt safe knowing my brother has one eye on me permanently. And going to Landbou was a “dream” we shared even though high school is not something you choose. Now, however life has changed. Jodan is in another city and Wian does not necessarily have the same dreams as I do. Meaning he won’t always be there and I am definitely not going to force him to be there. So now I’m on my own. And it’s scary as hell.

I told my dad it’s as if i need to choose between two groups of people. Pardon me for saying this but its either a group of white people or black people. In the first place I shouldn't have to choose – but that’s the sad reality of this world. It’s shocking to see how little “mixed” groups of people there are when you look outside of the “safe environment of the church”.

Now i believe in diversity and I want to go tomorrow. Someone has got to give, if I can put it that way. If we want to see black people and white people together there has to be that one person who will dare to be the first. Is that my role? Is it? Is it not? How on earth do I do this on my own? I feel so vulnerable.

Sometimes I think it would've been so much easier had i been a man. This thing about me not knowing whether i should go tomorrow bugs me so much because it is so much bigger than just tomorrow. I want to travel through Africa one day. And right now it’s just stupid to think you’ll be safe travelling alone as a woman through Africa.  How do my dreams fit into the reality?

I’m so frustrated. This just seems so much bigger than me.

Am I suppose to be the pioneer or is the timing wrong and should it be left for another day?

All of the above is what inspired me to write the poem: Man of Muis. Click here to read it.


  1. Jip, Berna it is and will always be a challenge to break up fallow ground. And it will always be a risk. But what is it that makes life worthwhile? Isn't it the little steps of obedience? You are special!!!


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