Is racism really extinct or is it dynamic? Only in Africa does one find people of mixed race, from black and white parents, being called ‘coloureds’.
In America the word was once used to refer to anyone black, without specifically referring to off spring of black and white parents. In America, those we call ‘coloureds’ are regarded as black people, while in Botswana and elsewhere in Africa, they form a race of their own.
A common observation is that some Batswana tend to treat them differently from their own kind because they term them as unique.
A common observation amongst Batswana, especially the younger generation, is that black girls are basically intimidated by coloured girls because they claim that black guys are infatuated with coloured girls, while black guys are not very fond of coloured boys because they have a reputation of being violent.
Coloured girls are wary of some black guys because they think they only want to use them and┬á coloured guys envy black guys because they don’t have to face an identity crisis.
Some black girls have even stated cases where they were left by their partner of many years for a coloured girl even when they weren’t as good looking as they were.
Sime Keteng, a 21-year-old black student, says she has been in many awkward situations with coloured girls in general.
According to her, she feels inferior whenever she is around them because they have an air of determination and feel they are perfect.
So she prefers to avoid hanging around places they usually frequent.
“I cant even go to places like Bul’n’Bush anymore; they are always there in large numbers, and most of those girls are so pretty; usually my dates end up trying to make moves on them, at the end of the day, the girls’ million cousins gang up and beat up the black boy, its disheartening,” said Keteng.
Following the alleged craze about coloured girls and black boys, the Sunday Standard asked the guys for their input.
A view taken from a black guy’s perspective, Phenyo Same, is that coloured girls are unique and obviously have an advantage when it comes to beautiful skin colour.
According to Same black girls in Botswana are too many and coloured girls are a breath of fresh air as they form a minority.
“For me as a dark guy, I am looking for a girl that’s going to neutralize our colour if ever we decide to have kids. Plus they don’t always complain about their hair like black chicks; all they do is wash it and dry it. Truth be told, they are the best of both worlds,’ says Same.┬á
Another black guy, Michael Kemiso, 25, claims to get excited at the sight of a coloured girl but says he would never date one.
His reasons being the stigma surrounding them. He claims to have heard about how crazy and wild they could get and that for him is a turnÔÇôoff.
”Don’t get me wrong; I get excited by their reputation of being good in bed, but that’s not a girl I want to take home at the end of the day. I want a cool calm chick even if she drinks, to me that happens to be black girls,” said┬á Kemiso.
He says the craze might come from the fact that its every black man’s dream to sleep with a white woman, therefore seeing as how many white girls are already in relationships, the men go for the next best thing: coloured girls.
”They have the same soft silky hair and their skin colour is shades darker, so they can do for now, but the one thing that turns me off about them is their many cousins, especially the guys who would beat a black guy up for trying to talk to the girls yet they are always trying to get on with black girls and we don’t say nothing,” continued Kemiso.┬á
Some coloured girls, on the other hand, claim that black girls are luckier than them when it comes to issues of relationships and love.
According to them, men, especially black men, are only interested in them for their looks and the fact that they have a reputation of being good in bed does not do much to help their case.
Kelly Matthews, a 22-year-old coloured girl, says men take them for granted because they think they don’t have the normal girlish emotions as they are considered to be crazy.
According to her, boys, especially black boys, don’t like being in long term relationships with them because they claim they can’t handle having ‘stress’ in their lives.
“I just want someone who can love me for who I am inside not turn me into a trophy. It really hurts when you sit down and realize that you have had a string of short term relationships only because you have turned out to be different from what the men were expecting from you,” says Matthews.
But Clinton Aubrey, a 26-year-old coloured man, claims to be envious of black people because they had never had to go through an identity crisis, never had to fight the confusion of not knowing exactly how to act.
Aubrey says ever since his childhood, he didn’t know whether to hang out with the black kids or the white kids.
“It’s still the same now; I don’t want people to think I try to act black or white. I mean, I like hip-hop music but people say I┬á try too hard to act black when they see me listen to it. I even like black girls more than any race but I end up going out with my kind because my parents forbid me to date black girls. They apparently don’t want to ruin the bloodline,” says Aubrey.
Taylor Shane, 23, a coloured male, says he keeps a lot of black friends around him and sometimes even forgets that he is coloured but the minute he comes around people his colour he acts differently.
According to him, they, as men, become very protective of each other because they are not that many in Gaborone and would therefore have to watch each other’s backs.
“I know how most black guys are with girls, they are my friends, they ain’t no way I’m going to let my girl cousins fall into their traps, plus the fights come naturally. We have a reputation of being violent so black guys just don’t want to mess with us; you beat one of us, you shall be hunted down by all of us and black guys know it. I don’t know why they still try,” says Shane.