Ask questions about people of mixed race and you’re bound to get mixed reactions to how people view them.
There is a lot of misconception about coloured people. In America, the term coloured refers to black people. Here in Africa, coloured is used to describe people born of black and white parentage. There are several terms used to describe people of mixed race.
In Botswana, the common one is ‘Lekutwane’. Though deemed derogative, this term is popular. There is general belief that coloured people are naturally aggressive. There is also this belief that coloured people like sex, alcohol and cigarettes.
I set out to find what other people think of coloured people and all the people I talked to at a local bar were unanimous in their labelling coloured people as rough people.
Interestingly, some confessed that they have never dealt with coloured people yet they still insisted coloureds were rough people in general. I sat down with a coloured lady to find the perceptions and realities about coloured people.
Sandra Rubins, 33, is of mixed race born to a black Motswana mother and a white English man. According to Rubins, coloureds are extremists. When they embark on something, they put all their energy towards whatever they set out to do. She says the reason people feel coloured people like sex more than your average person is, when they engage in sex, they put all their energy towards deriving all the pleasures that come with the act.
“We don’t go halves”, says Rubins.
She says when a coloured person is in love with someone, they don’t feel ashamed to display their affection and love towards their partner in public. This explains why when two people are seen displaying their affection towards each other in public, people say “ba ratana sekutwana”, meaning they behave the way coloured lovebirds do.
Rubins says when a coloured person hates you; he or she won’t pretend to like you.
“We tell it like it is, we are real, and we don’t fake our feelings,” Rubins reveals.
She says there are times when her black and white genes get into conflict. There are times when her white side dictates how she should do some things and there are times when her black side leads the way.
“It’s fascinating to be a person of mixed race. At times I become totally white and would laugh at how black people conduct themselves. Other times I put aside my white side and do things the way they are acceptable to black people.”
Rubins doesn’t mind being addressed as ‘Lekutwane’ depending on who addresses her and how that person addresses her.
She also doesn’t have a politically correct term for people of mixed races.